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T R A NS ACTI ONS 



OF 

THE GAELIC SOCIETY OF INVERNESS 



VOLUME XV. 
1838-89. 



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TRANSACTIONS 



THE GAELIC SOCIETY OF INVERNESS, 



VOLUME XV. 

1888-89, 




fRANSACTIONS 



GAELIC SOCIETY 

OF INVERNESS. 



VOLUME XV. 

1888-89. 



Clamt nan (iaiblteal an (itraiLUati a CheiU. 



PRINTED FOR THE GAELIC SOCIETY OF INVERNESS, 
AT THE "NORTHERN CHRONICLED OFFICE; 

AND SOLD BY JOHN NOBLE, WILLIAM MACKAY, AND A. & W. MACKENZIE 
BOOKSELLERS, INVERNESS. 

1890. 



GAELIC SOCIETY OF INVERNESS. 



OFFICE-BEARERS FOR 1888 OFFICE-BEARERS FOR 1889 



CHIEF. 

Mackintosh of Mackintosh. 

CHIEFTAINS. 

Bailie Alex. Mackenzie. 
Duncan Campbell. 
Alex. Macbain, M.A. 

HON. SECRETARY. 

William Mackay, Solicitor. 

SECRETARY AND TREASURER. 

Duncan Mackintosh, Bank of 
Scotland. 

MEMBERS OF COUNCIL. 

Rev. G. W. Mackay. 
William Gunn. 
Bailie Charles Mackay. 
John Mackenzie. 
William Macdonald. 

LIBRARIAN. 

John Whyte. 

PIPER. 
Pipe-Major Alex. Maclennan. 

BARD. 
Mrs Mary Mackellar. 



CHIEF. 
Sir Henry C. Macandrew. 

CHIEFTAINS. 

Rev. Thomas Sinton. 
Bailie Alex. Mackenzie. 
William Gunn. 

HON. SECRETARY. 

William Mackay, Solicitor. 

SECRETARY AND TREASURER. 

Duncan Mackintosh, Bank of 
Scotland. 

MEMBERS OF COUNCIL. 

Alex. Macbain, M.A. 
Duncan Campbell. 
Bailie Charles Mackay. 
John Macdonald. 
Donald Fraser of Millburn. 

LIBRARIAN. 

William Fraser. 

PIPER. 

Pipe-Major Alex. Maclennan. 

BARD. 
Mrs Mary Mackellar. 



GOMUNK GAILIG INBHIR-NIS. 



CO-SHUIDHBACHADH. 

1. 'S e ainm a' Chomuinn "COMUNN GAILIG INBHIR-NIS." 

2. 'S e tha an run a' Chomuinn : Na buill a dheanamh 
iomlan 's a' Ghailig; cinneas Canaine, Bardachd, agus Ciuil na 
Gaidhealtachd ; Bardachd, Seanachas, Sgeulachd, Leabhraichean 
agus Sgriobhanna 's a' chanain sin a thearnadh o dhearmad ; 
Leabhar-lann a chur suas ann am baile Tnbhir-Nis de leabhraichibh 
agus sgriobhannaibh ann an canain sam bith a bhuineas do 
Chaileachd, lonnsachadh, Eachdraidheachd agus Sheanachasaibh 
nan Gaidheal no do thairbhe na Gaidhealtachd ; coir agus cliu nan 
Gaidheal a dhion ; agus na Gaidheil a shoirbheachadh a ghna ge 
b'e ait' am bi iad. 

3. 'S iad a bhitheas 'nam buill, cuideachd a tha gabhail suim 
do runtaibh a' Chomuinn ; a^us so mar gheibh iad a staigh : 
Tairgidh aon bhall an t-iarradair, daingnichidh ball eile an tairgse, 
agus, aig an ath choinneimh, ma roghnaicheas a' mhor-chuid le 
crannchur, nithear ball dhith-se no dheth-san cho luath 's a 
phaidhear an comh-thoirt; cuirear crainn le ponair dhubh agus 
gheal, ach, gu so bhi dligheach, feumadh tri buill dheug an crann 
a chur. Feudaidh an Comunn Urram Cheannardan a thoirt do 
urrad 'us seachd daoine cliuiteach. 

4. 'Paidhidh Ball Urramach, 'sa' bhliadhna . 10 6 

Ball Cumanta 050 

Foghlainte 010 

Agus ni Ball-beatha aon chomh-thoirt de . 770 

5. 'S a' cheud-mhios, gach bliadhna, roghnaichear, le crainn, 
Co-chomhairle a riaghlas gnothuichean a' Chomuinn, 's e sin aon 



GAELIC SOCIETY OF INVERNESS. 



CONSTITUTION. 

1. The Society shall be called the " GAELIC SOCIETY OF 
INVERNESS." 

2. The objects of the Society are the perfecting of the Mem- 
bers in the use of the Gaelic language ; the cultivation of the 
language, poetry, and music of the Scottish Highlands ; the res- 
cuing from oblivion of Celtic Poetry, traditions, legends, books, 
and manuscripts ; the establishing in Inverness of a library, to 
consist of books and manuscripts, in whatever language, bearing 
upon the genius, the literature, the history, the antiquities, and 
the material interests of the Highlands and Highland people ; the 
vindication of the rights and character of the Gaelic people ; and, 
generally, the furtherance of their interests whether at home or 
abroad. 

3. The Society shall consist of persons who take a lively in- 
terest in its objects. Admission to be as follows : The candidate 
shall be proposed by one member, seconded by another, balloted 
for at the next meeting, and, if he or she have a majority of votes 
and have paid the subscription, be declared a member. The ballot 
shall be taken with black beans and white ; and no election shall 
be valid unless thirteen members vote. The Society has power to 
elect distinguished men as Honorary Chieftains to the number 'of 
seven. 

4. The Annual Subscription shall be, for 

Honorary Members .0 10 6 

Ordinary Members . . . . .050 
Apprentices . . . .010 

A Life Member shall make one payment of . 770 

5. The management of the affairs of the Society shall be en- 
trusted to a Council, chosen annually, by ballot, in the month of 



viii. CO-SHUIDHEACHADH. 

Cheann, tri lar-chinn, Cleireach Urramach, Runaire, lonmhasair, 
agus coig buill eile feumaidh iad uile Gailig a thuigsinn 's a 
bhruidhinn ; agus ni coigear dhiubh coinneamh. 

6. Cumar coinneamhan a' Chomuinn gach seachduin o thois- 
each an Deicheamh mios gu deireadh Mhairt, agus gach ceithir- 
la-deug o thoiseach Ghiblein gu deireadh an Naothamh-mios. 'S 
i a' Ghailig a labhrar gach oidhche mu'n seach aig a' chuid a's 
lugha. 

7. Cuiridh a' Cho-chomhairle la air leth anns an t-Seachdamh- 
mios air-son Coinneamh Bhliadhnail aig an cumar Co-dheuchainn 
agus air an toirear duaisean air-son Piobaireachd 'us ciuil Ghaidh- 
ealach eile ; anns an fheasgar bithidh co-dheuchainn air Leughadh 
agus aithris Bardachd agus Rosg nuadh agus taghta ; an deigh sin 
cumar Cuirm chuidheachdail aig am faigh nithe Gaidhealach rogh- 
ainn 'san uirghioll, ach gun roinn a dhiultadh dhaibh-san nach tuig 
Gailig. Giulainear cosdas na co-dheuchainne le trusadh sonraichte 
a dheannamh agus cuideachadh iarraidh o 'n t-sluagh. 

8. Cha deanar atharrachadh sam bith air coimh-dhealbhadh 
a' Chomuinn gun aontachadh dha thrian de na'm bheil de luchd- 
bruidhinn Gailig air a' chlar-ainm. Ma 's miann atharrachadh a 
dheanamh is eiginn sin a chur an ceill do gach ball, mios, aig a' 
chuid a's lugha, roimh'n choinneimh a dh'fheudas an t-atharrachadh 
a dheanamh Feudaidh ball nach bi a lathair roghnachadh le 
lamh-aithne. 

9. Taghaidh an Comunn Bard, Piobaire, agus Fear-leabhar- 
lann. 



Ullaichear gach Paipear agus Leughadh, agus giulainear gach 
Deasboireachd le run fosgailte, duineil, durachdach air-son na 
firinn, agus cuirear gach ni air aghaidh ann an spiorad caomh, glan, 
agus a reir riaghailtean dearbhta. 



CONSTITUTION. IX. 

January, to consist of a Chief, three Chieftains, an Honorary 
Secretary, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and five other Members of the 
Society, all of whom shall understand and speak Gaelic ; five to- 
form a quorum. 

6. The Society shall hold its meetings weekly from the 
beginning of October to the end of March, and fortnightly from 
the beginning of April to the end of September. The business 
shall be carried on in Gaelic on every alternate night at least. 

7. There shall be an Annual Meeting in the month of July, 
the day to be named by the Committee for the time being, when 
Competitions for Prizes shall take place in Pipe and other High- 
land Music. In the evening there shall be Competitions in Read- 
ing and Reciting Gaelic Poetry and Prose, both original and select. 
After which there will be a Social Meeting, at which Gaelic sub- 
jects shall have the preference, but not to such an extent as 
entirely to preclude participation by persons who do not under- 
stand Gaelic. The expenses of the competitions shall be defrayed 
out of a special fund, to which the general public shall be invited 
to subscribe. 

8. It is a fundamental rule of the Society that no part of the 
Constitution shall be altered without the assent of two-thirds of 
the Gaelic speaking Members on the roll ; but if any alterations 
be required, due notice of the same must be given to each member, 
at least one month before the meeting takes place at which the 
alteration is proposed to be made. Absent Members may vote by 
mandates. 

9. The Society shall elect a Bard, a Piper, and a Librarian. 



All Papers and Lectures shall be prepared, and all Discussions 
carried on, with an honest, earnest, and manful desire for truth ; 
and all proceedings shall be conducted in a pure and gentle spirit, 
and according to the usually recognised rules. 



INTRODUCTION. 



THIS, the 15th Volume of the Inverness Gaelic Society's Transac- 
tions, records the proceedings of the Society for one year, 
beginning with the Annual Assembly on the 12th July, 1888, and 
ending with the last meeting of the Winter Session of 1889, 011 the 
8th of May. It appears later than the Publishing Committee 
could have wished. This is to a great extent due to the distance 
which some of the contributors of papers are from Inverness, and 
the consequent delays in the transmission of proofs. The Com- 
mittee expect to amend matters in this direction, and they would 
be obliged to those who so kindly contribute papers if they would 
at once return their proofs corrected. The next Volume is to be 
sent immediately to press, and is expected to appear by the 
beginning of the coming Winter Session. 

Dr Charles Mackay, the poet, who died on the 21st December 
last, at the age of seventy-four, was an honorary member of the 
Gaelic Society of Inverness. He took a lively interest in the 
Highlands, and was proud to bear a Highland name. He was 
present at the Second Annual Assembly in the year 1873, when 
he delivered a stirring and patriotic speech. Indeed, he was, if 
anything, too fond of claiming for the Gaelic language an ancestral 
position which modern study can grant no language spoken, or 
ever spoken, in the world. He published a sumptuous work on 
this topic, entitled the " Gaelic Etymology of the Languages of 
Western Europe," and within the last few years he returned to the 
subject in his work on the Scottish dialect. It is, however, not 
as a philologist that Dr Charles Mackay must be mentioned, but 
as a poet. He was the author of such catching popular songs as 
Cheer, Boys, Cheer," " The Good Time Coming," " The Souls of 
Little Children," and many others, which will enshrine his name 
for ever in the roll of British bards. 

More than usual activity has prevailed in the publication of 
works dealing with the Highlands or with the Gaelic Language. 
Mr Malcolm Macfarlane has published, at Paisley, an intelligent 
and interesting work on the " Phonetics of the Gaelic Language," 



Xii. INTRODUCTION. 

and a third edition of Mr L. Macbean's " Elementary Lessons in 
Gaelic " has been issued, and has met with gratifying success. 
Mr Gardner, of Paisley, has begun the republication of J. F. 
Campbell's " Popular Tales of the West Highlands," a work now 
long out of print, and fetching a fancy price ; and the first volume 
has already appeared in five monthly parts. Messrs Logan & Co., 
of Inverness, have produced a new book of Highland music, under 
the attractive title of " Lays of the Heather," wherein good 
selections from the Gaelic muse find adequate representation in 
the kindred art of music. A work that promises to be little short 
of the interest and importance of J. F. Campbell's volumes has. 
been begun by a namesake, and in the same lines. Lord 
Archibald Campbell, under the happy title of " Waifs and Strays 
of Celtic Tradition," is issuing a series of books in which are to be- 
gathered the folk-lore and legendary material that still float through 
the Isles and the Highlands. Already two volumes have appeared, 
and a third will be issued within the next half year. The first 
volume contains Argyllshire legends, tales, and antiquities. The 
second volume is devoted entirely to folk-tales taken down in 
Argyllshire, and in interest and importance is a match for any 
of Campbell's volumes of Popular Tales. Mr Alfred Nutt has, 
enriched the volume with valuable notes. 

In the domain of history, good work has also been accom- 
plished. Mr Archibald Brown, of Greenock, has taken up the 
cudgels against Dr Skene, and combats that scholar's conclusions 
on many points, both in early Scottish history and in the later 
period of the Clans. The book is entitled " Memorials of Argyle," 
and is a vigorous work, marked by sound, if at times rough-hewn,, 
common sense. Mr Alex. Mackenzie, editor of the Scottish 
Highlander, has added another to his many clan histories. The 
new volume deals with the " History of the Macleods," and it has 
been received by an almost universal chorus of praise on the part 
of newspaper and magazine. Another work of very great 
importance has just been issued ; it is Mr Eraser-Mackintosh's 
" Letters of Two Centuries" a work which carries out the rather 
quaint idea of giving a series of two hundred letters written from 
1616 to 1815, one dated in every year between these two dates. 



INTRODUCTION. Xlll. 

Mr Fraser-Mackintosh introduces each letter with an historical 
preface, and these prefaces are not the least interesting or 
important part of the work. 

Literature dealing with the Highlands is, we see, plentiful in 
the shape of books, nor is it less so in the case of the more 
transitory work of the newspaper and the periodical. The Inver- 
ness papers, the Oban Times, and others from time to time publish 
articles and materials in Gaelic literature, and the new periodical, 
which lately finished its first year of life we mean the " Highland 
Monthly" has met with the encouraging success which the 
excellence of its literary contents amply deserves. Professor 
Mackinnon 'has had several articles in the Scotsman dealing with 
literary matters connected with the Highlands. From October of 
last year till well on in this year, an almost weekly article by the 
Professor appeared. He dealt with learning among the ancient 
Gael, the Continental and Edinburgh MSS. of Gaelic, and with 
the contents of the heroic literature of the Gael, not omitting the 
work of " Ossian" Macpherson. An interesting and excellent series 
of six lectures was given in Edinburgh by Professor Rhys, Celtic 
Professor at Oxford, in which he dealt with the " Early Ethnology 
of the British Isles, and more especially of Scotland, treated from 
the point of view of language." He enforced, with fresh emphasis 
and argument, the well-known views expressed in his "Celtic 
Britain," and the result has been quite a rush of more or less 
ephemeral literature dealing with the great " Pictish" question. 
The Professor's lectures are to appear in the Scottish Jteview. 
Indeed, the first lecture has appeared in the April number of this 
year. 

The announcement is just made that the Literary Remains 
left by the late Rev. Dr Alexander Cameron, of Brodick, are in 
the course of publication. They are to be in two volumes, con- 
sisting, to a great extent, of unpublished MSS. of older Gaelic 
literature. The Etymological Dictionary of Gaelic was never 
completed ; but one of the editors, Mr Macbain, offers to give the 
completed work should the public favour the idea. 

The Highlander From Home has entered on a new phase of 
patriotic activity, which we heartily welcome. That consists in the 



x i v INTRODUCTION. 

formation of Clan Societies, whereby the members of a Clan 
dwelling in the large cities of the South may band together for 
social and literary purposes. Most of the leading Clans have now 
Societies such as the Clan Mackay Society, the Macdonald, 
Cameron, Grant, Campbell, and Fraser Clan Societies. Their 
intention is good : the fostering of the clan feeling of brotherhood, 
of social intercourse, and of education by means of clan bursaries ; 
the assisting of clansmen south and north in difficulties ; the 
collecting of clan records and traditions, and, finally, the forming 
of a clan invasion of their native glens a la Cook, in the shape of 
large tourist parties. 

Other Highland interests are, we are glad to say, receiving 
welcome attention. The abolition of school fees must bring a good 
deal of money into the Highlands from the Probates Duty Fund. 
Otherwise the education question is as before ; Gaelic is permitted 
as a vehicle of intelligence, and is placed on the specific schedule. 
Commissions and advocacy of railway extension are keeping the 
people of all classes at present agog ; but there is no doubt that 
substantial benefits will accrue to the Highlands from the present 
stir. 

For the prize of ten guineas which Mackintosh of Mackintosh 
so kindly offered for the best essay on " The social condition of 
the Highlands since 1800," only one competitor came forward ! 
This competitor has been dealt with generously by The Mackintosh, 
who once again makes the offer of a ten guinea prize on the same 
subject. As not fewer than three must compete, intending com- 
petitors will kindly intimate their intention to the Secretary, so 
that arrangements can be made as to the length of time allowed 
for the writing of the essays, and also for the terms and method 
of the competition. 

INVERNESS, May, 1890. 



CONTENTS. 



PAOB 

Office-bearers for 1888 and 1889 v. 

Constitution . . . . . . . . . vi. 

Introduction . . . . . . . . . xi. 

Sixteenth Annual Assembly Speeches by Sir Henry C. 
Macandrew, the Rev. A. D. Mackenzie, and Professor 
Blackie ......... 1 

A Modern Raid in Glengarry and Glenmoriston Mr 

Kenneth Macdonald . . . . . 11 

The Dialect of the Reay Country Rev. Adam Gunn . 35 

Fionn's Ransom Rev. John G. Campbell ... 46 

Minor Highland Septs, No. 2. The Macdonalds of Morar, 
styled " Mac Dhughail " - Mr Charles Eraser- 
Mackintosh, M.P 63 

Seventeenth Annual Dinner Speeches by Sir Henry C. 
Macandrew, the Rev. Thomas Sinton, Mr D. Campbell, 
Mr Charles Innes, Mr Robert Walker, Mr Robert Grant, 
and others ........ 7-5- 

The Races from which the Modern Scottish Nation has been 

evolved Mr Hector Maclean ..... 90 

Sutherland Place Names Parish of Assynt Mr John 

Mackay, C.E TV" . .107 

Arran Place Names, by the late Rev. Dr Cameron, Brodick 

Rev. John Kennedy . . . . . .122 

A Collection of Unpublished Gaelic Poetry The Rev. John 

Macrury . . . . . V 140 

The Sheiling, its Traditions and Songs. Part II. Mrs 

Mary Mackellar . . . . .151 

Highland-English as found in Books The Right Rev. Colin 

C. Grant, D.D. . . , ,.' . ' . '. '. 172 



xyj CONTENTS. 

PAGK 

Certain Peculiarities of Gaelic Idiom Mr D. Munro Eraser 
Laoidh Chlann Uisne, with English Translation Mr 

Alexander Carmichael 
Sketches of the Old Ministers of Badenoch, Part II. Mr 

Alexander Macpherson 
A Collection of Unpublished Gaelic Songs, with notes Mr 

Colin Chisholm 
Some Hebridean Singers and their Songs Rev. Archibald 

Macdonald 
The Early History, Legends, and Traditions of Strathardle 

Mr Chas. Ferguson 
Notes on the Parish of Kiltearn. Mr Roderick Maclean . 302 

O "I 1 

Honorary Chieftains 

Life Members . 

Honorary Members . 

Ordinary Members . 

Deceased Members . 

List of Books in Society's Library . 



TRANSACTIONS. 



ANNUAL ASSEMBLY. 

THE Sixteenth Annual Assembly of the Society was held in the 
Music Hail on Thursday, 12th July, 1888. In the absence of The 
Mackintosh of Mackintosh,- Chief of the Society, Sir Henry C. 
Macandrew presided. The Northern Chronicle, in speaking of the 
Assembly, said: "After an interval of two years, the Gaelic 
Society of Inverness has resumed the summer entertainments 
which for the last sixteen years have been associated with the 
great Wool Fair. In all respects Thursday evening's assembly 
was a great achievement. We have never seen a larger or more 
enthusiastic audience ; certainly a more attractive programme had 
never previously been submitted, and zest and enjoyment charac- 
terised the whole meeting. It is becoming customary to decorate 
the platform very profusely when concerts are given in the Music 
Hall. Some of the decorations were on recent occasions extremely 
pretty ; but for chaste effect the picture produced by the Gaelic 
Society by means of tartans, weapons of war, and other fitting 
objects, has not been excelled. The platform was intended to 
represent the drawing-room of a Highland chief, when the native 
tartan played a conspicuous part in the economy and decoration of 
the household. Its uses were illustrated by the cover thrown over 
the quaintly-shaped table which stood in front of a luxurious easy 
chair, occupied by the chairman of the evening, Sir Henry C. 
Macandrew, Provost of Inverness. The front of the orchestra, 
which lends itself considerably in form and outline to such 
embellishment, was draped with the tartans of the clans, and 
ornamented with shields, deer's heads, claymores, and dirks, taste- 
fully arranged. Above the central doorway there was a picturesque 
group of weapons and other objects suggestive of war, of the chase, 
and of the wild grandeur of the Highlands ; and above all towered a 
gigantic thistle. In the background each tier of seats was con- 

1 



2 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

cealed in masses of heather and broom, judiciously relieved by 
plants and young trees. The whole decorations, as we have said, 
were charming in taste and effective as a spectacle." Sir Henry 
was supported on the platform by Sir Kenneth J. Matheson of 
Lochalsh, Bart. ; Emeritus-Professor Blackie ; Mr Mackintosh, yr. 
of Raigmore ; Mr E. H. Macmillan, banker ; Mr Alex. Ross, 
architect, Queensgate ; Mr Alex. Macpherson, banker, Kingussic ; 
Dr F. M. Mackenzie, High Street ; Captain Chisholm, Glassbum ; 
Major Bayiies, Adjutant Cameron Highlanders; Rev. A. D. 
Mackenzie, Kilmorack ; Mr Alexander Mackenzie, publisher ; Mr 
Gilbert Beith, Glasgow ; Mrs Mary Mackellar, Bard of the Society ; 
Mr Colin Chisholm, Namur Cottage ; Bailie Alex. Mackenzie, 
Inverness ; Mr Roderick Maclean, factor for Ardross ; and Mr D. 
Mackintosh, Bank of Scotland, Secretary of the Society. 

At the outset the Secretary intimated that apologies for absence 
had been received from Mackintosh of Mackintosh, Chief of the 
Society ; Mr Cameron of Lochiel ; Mr R. B. Fiiilay, M.P. ; Mr C. 
Fraser-Mackintosh, M.P. ; Mr Lachlan Macdonald of Skaebost ; Sir 
Kenneth S. Mackenzie of Gairloch, Bart. ; Mr Allan R. Mackenzie, 
yr. of Kintail ; Mr Forbes of Culloden ; Mr Fletcher, Letham 
Grange; Major Grant, Glen-Urquhart ; Dr Stewart, " Nether- 
Lochaber ;" Sheriff Nicolson ; Sheriff Blair ; Mr Bankes of Letter- 
ewe; Mr Reginald Macleod; Mr Mackay, Hereford ; Col. Geo. Rose; 
Mr Charles Innes ; Mr James Barron, of the Inverness Courier ; Mr 
D. Davidson, Drummond Park ; Rev. A. Bisset, Fort- Augustus ; 
Rev. J. M'Rury, Snizort ; Mr Geo. J. Campbell, solicitor ; and Mr 
William Mackenzie, of the Crofter Commission. 

Sir Henry Macandrew, who was received with prolonged 
applause, said Ladies and gentlemen, I am sure you will all join 
with me in a feeling of regret that the gentlemen whose names 
have just been read have not been able to be present to-night, and 
in particular that the Chief of the Society. The Mackintosh of 
Mackintosh has not been able to take the place which I now 
occupy. It was intended that he should be here, but from 
unavoidable causes he has not been able to come. Before proceed- 
ing to the very attractive programme which has been prepared, it 
is usual for the person occupying my position to say a few words 
with reference to the occasion on which we are met together. 
This is the sixteenth annual assembly of the Inverness Gaelic 
Society, and I am sure we may congratulate ourselves upon the 
very large number of people who have assembled on this occasion, 
and also on the continued success which has attended this Society 
since its institution. During these sixteen years, the Society, in 



Annual Assembly. 3 

Its literary department, has been doing very excellent work work 
which has been acknowledged by authorities in Celtic literature 
and the volumes which have been published will be a lasting 
memorial of what the Gaelic Society has done for the Gaelic 
language and Gaelic literature. These annual gatherings are 
intended to perpetuate good Highland feeling, Highland songs, 
Highland games, and all that relates to what is best and most 
"beautiful in the past among our ancestors. Thus, I am sure, we 
must congratulate ourselves upon the growing success of these 
gatherings, for I do not suppose there has ever been an assembly 
more largely attended than the one to-night. The purpose for 
which we are met is commemorative, as I have said, of certain 
things which were good in the lives of our ancestors. It is often 
& moot question whether, in the days that are past, life was 
happier and more beautiful than it is now. The result of my own 
reading and research on the subject is to this effect, that while I 
believe there is much more material comfort now, I doubt very 
much whether our lives are happier than they were in the past. 
We have now more material comfort, but we have also more cares. 
If there are fewer people among us who are reduced to the verge 
of want, we all have a more anxious life in earning a living. I 
think that life, particularly in the Highlands, wants a great deal 
of the charm and zest and beauty which it possessed among our 
ancestors. This Society is one of the outcomes of the efforts 
lately made for the preservation of something of that beautiful 
past. En all the efforts of the Society during the years it has 
existed, we have directed ourselves only to what we thought did 
make the life of our ancestors more beautiful and more pleasant ; 
we looked to its poetry, its music, and games, and the enjoyment 
of its social life, which we have tried to preserve. If there is 
anything that should make us proud of our ancestry, it was a 
knowledge that, even among the poorer classes of the generation 
long gone by, there was a feeling of chivalry and devotion to 
something higher, than themselves, which does not exist, at any- 
rate so strongly, among us now. I may mention that one day 
recently I had the pleasure of visiting a remarkable scene in the 
Highlands. I was at the top of Glenmoriston, and went to see a 
cave in a wild, weird corry where Prince Charlie spent three weeks 
under the care of seven men who were little better than free- 
booters. And yet these seven men, knowing that a fortune was 
offered for the capture of the fugitive, which they could have earned 
at any time, because within five miles of their retreat there was 
er camped a detachment of English soldiers, not only did they not 



4 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

accept the offer, but I believe the thought of it never entered their 
minds. They preserved the Prince, and conducted him to a place 
of safety. As I sat among these stones and looked back upon the 
past, it struck me that there were few more beautiful and 
chivalrous stories in the whole course of literature. I felt that I 
had good reason to be proud of the race to which those men 
belonged. I will not now detain you longer from the programme- 
which is before us. I trust you will all enjoy the evening, and 
that it will remind us of the past remind us of the kindly feel- 
ings which all Highlanders ought to entertain towards each other,, 
and that we will carry away with us a pleasant memory, which 
will help us through the rest of our lives, and make us more 
kindly towards our fellows. 

The first part of the programme was then gone through as. 
follows : 

Song (Gaelic) Mr MURDO MACGILLIVRAY.. 

Song" Doun the Burn, Davie " Mrs MUNRO (Miss LIBBIE WATT).. 

Song ' The March of the Cameron Men " Mr JENEAS FRASER. 

Song" A. Dear Wine" Miss CLARA FRASER. 

Song (Gaelic) " 'S toigh learn a' Ghaidhealtachd " Mr ALEXANDER Ross. 

Selections on Pianoforte " Highland Airs " Miss MACARTHUR. 

Song "Macgregor's Gathering" Mr D. MILLER. 

Dance u Scotch Reel" FOUR YOUNG GAELS. 

Song " MacCrimmon's Lament" Miss KATE FRASER. 

The Rev. A. D. Mackenzie, Kilmorack, then addressed the 
meeting in Gaelic. He said 'Nuair a chuir bhur Run-chleireach, 
Mr Mac-an-Toisich, litir thugamsa, a dh' iarraidh gun labhrainn 
ruibh a nochd anns a chainnt mhatharail, 's i a' cheud cheisd a 
thaiiiig a steach orm Ciod an ni fo 'n ghrein air an labhair mise 
riu nach tog atharrachadh barail agu& deasboireachd. Ma labhras 
mi air cor nan Eaglaisean bithidh sinn aig na duirri an tiota ; ma 
labhras mi air riaghladh na Parlamaid, cha 'n e sin buille is fearr ;. 
agus ma labhras mi mu shuidheachadh an fhearainn eadar 
uachdarana agus iochdrana ged a chuala mise cliu oirbh feint 
Fhir-na-Caithreach mar Dhuin-uasal cho baigheal 's cho fialaidh 
do bhochd agus do bheartach 's tha ann an Ceann-tuath na h-Alba 
cha'n eil fhios am biodh sinn fada an coluadar 'nuair a dh'eireadh 
atharrachadh barail eadaruinn. Anns an imcheisd, ciod a thainig 
na'm inntinn ach so. Tha aon ni co-dhiubh anns an cord na 
h-uile fior Ghaidheil na h-uile aig am beil an cridhe far am bu 
choir da bhith. Ciod e sin ? Meas mor air a chainnt-mhatharail, 
agus mor ghradh dhi mar a' chainnt is snasaile, mar a' chainnt is 
brio'mhoire, mar a' chainnt is druightiche, agus mar a' chainnt is. 
deas-bhriathraiche, fo'n ghrein. Rainig mi nis air mo cheann. 



Annual Assembly. 5 

teagiasg agus do thaobh 's gu'in beil an uine goirid agus nioran r'a 
'dheanamh, giulanaidh sibh leani a dhol air adhart cho bras 'sa 
ghabhas dcauamh. Tha mi airson focal a radh an toiseach, mu 
mhearachd a gheibbear gu coitchionn a measg nan Gaidheal fein, 
nach e a mbain gu'm beil a' Ghailig am measg nan cainntean is sine 
chaidh riamh a labhairt air an talamh, ach gu bheil iad fein ga 
labhart a nis mar a bba i air a labhart feadb nan linnean cian a 
chaidh seachad. Cha bheag a mhearachd so ; agus cha bheag an 
t-ana-cothrom a tha a' chainnt so a' fulang ami a bhi ga co-charadh 
ri cainntean eile. (1). Gabh am focal craobh (cruv). An e so 
ceud chruth an fhocail ? Cha 'n e ach crub, agus uime sin ami an 
.ainmibh aitean far am bheil a' Ghailig is sine r'a faotuinn gheibh 
sibh an cruth so. Ann an Eirinn Slidbh Crub, ann an Srath- 
Fharragaig againii fhein gheibh sibh Bun-Chrubai, agus an Cataobh 
Sron-Chrubai. A nis, mur eil mise air mo mhealladh se so freumh 
an fhocail Ghreugaich, Krubo, " Tha mi falach," oir ciod a' cheud 
aite falaich a bha aig clann nan daoine ? Bha measg nan craobh. 
Lomaich am facal ni's mo gu Craoich, e.g., Dun-Chraoich, Sgire- 
Chraoich, ann an Cataobh. A ris gu Criejf, Moncrieff Cnoc faisg 
air Peairt, agus fa dheireadh gu cru agus cri, mar ann an Bun- 
chreiv, agus Cri-leamhann, agus Cri-nan-glag ann an Srath-ghlais. 
(2). Gabh am focal clabar, clabar criadha tiugh clabhar (clavar). 
claur, agus o sin gu glaur, e.g., nieve fu' o' glaur dorlach de 'n 
chlabar. (3). Gabh am focal sugh (su) an toiseach, sug, mar a 
gheibh sibh e ann an " Sugan a mhathar," agus 'nuair a ruigeas 
sinn an cruth so de 'n fhocal chi sibh gur h-e mhathair am focal 
Beurla, suck, agus am facal Laidinn sugo, agus am focal Gear- 
mailteach saugen. (4). Tog am focal troidh (troih) ach ciod a 
their an Uelshach nan Kymrigeach ? Troed. Tha e soillear gur 
h-e so ceud chruth an fhocail. Chum sinn fhein greim air anns an 
radh coitchionn troud so, ach 'nuair a ruigeas sinn so faic mar a 
gheibh thu uaithe na focail tread, trudge, trot, trotter, retreat, &c. 
Dh' fheudamaid ficheadan de 'n t-seorsa so a chur fo ur comhair, 
anns am bheil tri ceumanna de lomadh no de mhaoladh air teachd 
orra o na ceud chruthan. Bu mhaith learn focal a radh mu 
mhearachd eile a tha ro thric ra chluinntinn am measg pharantan 
Ghaidhealach, 's e sin gu'm beil beoil na clainne air an cur o fheum 
leis a' Ghailig airson a bhi labhairt na Beurla agus cainntean eile. 
Cha '11 eil amaideachd is mo fo 'n ghrein. An aite so 's ann a tha 
cleachdadh na Gailig a' deasachadh am beoil airson cainntean eile 
a labhairt gu ceart. larr air an t-Sasunnach loch a radh 's e their 
loc, iarr air Lochaber a radh. 'S e their e Locaber iarr air 
laogh, agk, adhair, a radh. Cha 'n urra dha ged a bheireadh tu 



6 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

dha ceud punnd Sasunnach. A nis, tha am fuaim so anabarrach 
coitchionn anus a chainnt Ghearrnailteach, ach, hock, agus amis a 
chainnt Ghreugaich. Cha dean an Sasunnach dad diubh sin, acli 
cuir na gillean Gaidhealach an tarruing riu agus their iad na h-uile 
ach 's hock, na h-uile mack 'us machar cho comhnard riu fein. Seadh 
'us air an aon doigh fuaimean na Greige 's na h-Eabhra. Ni eile 
anns a' Ghailig gu sonruichte os cionn chainntean eile ; an cordadh 
no an coslas a tha eadar an t-ainm, agus na nithe a tha air an 
ainmeachadh. Bheir an t-ainm eolas dhuinn air an ni a tha air 
ainmeachadh moran ni 's trice na ami an cainntean eile. (1), 
Thoir suil air da no tri de bheathaichean Dobharan ainmhidh 
un uisge ; Gobhlach Gobhal-bheathach ; Leumnachan, o 'n leum 
aige Miall mhagan, o na magan aige Los leathainn o'n earabal 
Jeathainn a th' aige Damhan-alluidh (agus Tarantula anns an 
Laidinn) a thaobh 's gum beil aodanii aige cosmhuill ri aodann an 
daimh no an tairbh Seangan direach a chionn 's gu'm beil e 
seang. (2). Gabh a nis na h-eoin. Is e ag seann Ghaelig air euii 
Faolag, 'o fathal Feadag, Eun na feadarachd Buidheag, airsoii 
a dath buidhe Cumhachag, airson a caoidh Topag, airsoii an 
top a th'air a cheann Seabhag no Seamhag, Hawk. \ Tha e soilleir 
gur h-e coslas do dh' aoii seorsa no seorsa eile tha riaghladh an 
ainni amis a' chainnt so mar nach 'eil an cainntean eile. Tha fios 
aig na h-uile mar a chaidh airimhidhean 's coin 's na uile bith 
gluasadach a chur an ceangal a cheile mar theaghlaichean a reir 
an coslais, agus am meinean mar na coin agus na cait de na h-uile 
seorsa. A uis tha mi 'g radh gur iongaiitach an t-seoltachd leis 'n, 
d' rinn ar sinnsireachd na coslais so a thogail agus an cur an ceill, 
ceart direach mar a tha iad air an la'n diugh. (1). Gabh teagh- 
lach nan con no na madraidh ; an toiseach am madadh e fein ; a ris 
am madadh ruadh (red dog or fox) ; a ris am madadh alluidh (wild 
dog or wolf) ; a ris am madadh donn (brown dog or otter). Anns a 
cheum so chaidh iad clith, ach cha b' iad a mhain, agus cha 'n 
eil ach uin ghoirid 'o fhuaradh amach le daoine geur, tuigseach 
agus rannsachail gur h-ann a bhuineas a madadh-donn no'n dobh-r 
aran do theaghlach na iiiosan (2). Gabh teaghlach na 'n corr, se 
sin na h-eoin fhad-chasach abhios a' taghal nan traighean. G'arson 
a chaidh an t-ainm so a thoirt orra 1 Direach do thaobh 's gu'm 
beil iad corrach, cosmhail ri duine air na casan-corrach ; 's beag a 
thilgeas th'aithris e. (Shaoileadh tu gun deanadh osag ghaoithe a 
chorra a thilgeadh thairis, cho fada o'n talamh air a casan fada 
seang) a chorra bhaii a chorra ghlas a chorra ghriobhach, no, 
a chorra sgridheach a chorra mhonaidh, a chorra- chosag a 
chorra shealbach. I)h' fheudainn a nis a dhol an ceann ceisdeaii 



Annual Assembly. 1 

ni's duilicb. Co as a thainig a chainnt so 1 Ciod e cho farsuing 
sa sgaoil i ? agus ciod e cho sean 's a tha i 1 Ach iia'n rachuinn a 
chur an ceill mo bharail do thaohh nan cuiseaii so 's ami a 
shaoileadh sibh gun robh mi as mo chiall. Feumaidh mi na cuiseaii 
so fhagail gu am eile. Is e am bron a iiis gu 'm beil cuid mhor de 
na Gaidheil iad fein a' fas suarach mu'ii Ghailig, agus ga truailleadh 
le bhi ga measgachadh le Beurla. Bha mi o chionn bliadhna 110 
dha ann an Eilean Mhuile ; bha mi gabhail mo thurais 'o Thor- 
loise. Bha duine coir colath ruinn, agus bha e labhairt mu'ii 
Mhor-fhear Compton cho fialaidh sa bha e do'n tuath aige. Thug 
e isleachadh mor do aon neach, agus 'nuair bu choir dha a radh, 
" dh' islich a na h-uile mal eile a reir sin," thuirt e " Raduce e na 
h-uile rent eile ami am proportion." Ach maith dh' fheudte gur e 
am measgachadh is ceolmhor mu'n cuala mi riarnh achmhasan a 
chaidh thoirt ami an Eaglais Baile Dhuthaich aim an la an 
t-seann Dr Mhic-an Toisich. Bha e la a' searmonachadh 'nuair 
dheirich connsachadh oilteil measg nam madraidh air urlar iia 
h-Eaglais. Rinneadh seamhaidhean agus comhartaich agus 
donnalaich a bha uamhasach. Stad an Doctor agus thug e suilair 
braigh an lobht agus thubhairt e. " Tha mi 'g agar o luchd- 
riaghlaidh a' bhaile so mise a dhion ann an cuairteachadh mo 
dhleasdanais," agus shuidh e sios. Dh'eirich am fear a b'oige 
de 'n luchd-riaghlaidh agus thug e achmhasan do luchd na 
Fendams, d' am buineadh na madaidh, focal air an fhocal mar a 
chaidh innseadh dhomhsa. " Sibhse Fendamers, tha mi 'g radh 
ruibh, mur a cum sibhse regularity agus decorum measg na 
dogachan agaibh, bheir mise oirbh gum bi na dogtchan air an 
shootigeadh le fire-arms, agus gum bi sibh fein air bhur confinigeadh 
anns an Tolbooth" Ann an sin shuidh e sios, mar is mithich 
dhomhsa a dheanamh, oir tha eagal orm gur h-ann a chuir mi cus 
deuchairm air foighidinn luchd na Beurla. 

Professor Blackie, whose rising was the signal for an outburst 
of applause, said as he had been called upon to appear by the 
authority of the chair he would do so ; but he must, in the first 
instance, protest against the use made of his name. He never gave 
any such authority as to say that he was to deliver an address, and 
he would not do it. He had a special objection to delivering 
addresses for many reasons. He was always afraid that it would 
degenerate into a lecture or a sermon. He came there to be 
entertained, and not to deliver an address. He came there to hear 
the lovely sweet notes from those ladies, which had been like 
angels' music from heaven. It was worth going a hundred miles 
to hear such singing, and also to see old friends and old faces, and 



8 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

their beautiful town one of the six chief beauties in Scotland. 
He would commence geographically with Kelso, Edinburgh, Stir- 
ling, Perth, Aberdeen, and Inverness. These were the six finest 
towns in Scotland, and perhaps among the best in the world. He 
would make no address, but he would tell them what he thought 
as an honest man. He thought the most precious heritage God 
had given a people, after they had got out of the stage of wander- 
ing barbarism and savagery, was a nationality. It took hundreds 
or thousands of years to make a nation, and if it took that time to 
grow, don't let them cut it down, but rather root it like an oak in 
the forest. He believed that, at the present time, influences were 
at work to undermine our nationality, and nowhere were these 
revolutionary influences more operative l:han in Edinburgh, where 
the people were being made mere flunkeys of John Bull. The 
education of Scotchmen was being neglected, otherwise Scotch and 
Gaelic songs should be sung in the schools, even should they 
sacrifice the Latin and Greek grammars wholesale. He viewed 
with suspicion the centralising machinery of the present day, 
because it destroyed the variety of national types created by his- 
tory. How would any of them like to see only one kind of 
flower in their garden 1 Why then should they have* only one 
pattern of humanity in the country ? The Scotch people must 
take care or they would be insidiously cheated. The English 
could not defeat the Scotch at Bannockburn, but by this London 
centralisation they would be strangled and throttled. They must 
see and adopt measures on a larger scale. For that reason he was 
for Home Rule. Some people wished Home Rule as a matter of 
business, but he was for Home Rule not for Ireland only, but for 
England and Scotland in order to preserve their national type and 
their national manners. He did not mean to discuss the question 
politically, but as a man, and as a Scotchman. We were swindled 
out of our position in the world by the Union of 1707. We made 
a bad bargain. He held that the Scottish Parliament he did not 
mean a separate Parliament that the Scottish part of the British 
Parliament now existing, with the sixteen Scotch Lords in the 
House of Lords, should meet in Edinburgh every year for six 
weeks, and do Scotch business before they proceeded to London. 
He concluded by warmly emphasising the importance of cherishing 
their mother tongue, which they should look upon as dear as their 
mother's milk. Let them learn their own songs, which were full 
of noble traditions. These songs came direct from nature, and 
were quite intelligible, which could not be said of certain songs. 
Those fellows in London those original fellows wanted to show 



Annual Assembly. 9 

how clever they were in saying strange things. All popular 
'Gaelic and Scotch songs were true, and with these things they 
could not go wrong. 

The second part of the programme w T as then gone through, 
which was as follows : 

:Song "Cam' ye by Athole " Miss MACARTHUR. 

Song "Flora Macdonald's Lament" Mr BALLANTYNE. 

Song "Jock o' Hazeldean" Miss CLARA FRASER. 

Song (Gaelic) Mr M. MACGILLIVRAY. 

Dance Reel of Tulloch OGANAICH GHAIDHEALACH. 

Song " Ealaidh Ghaoil " Miss KATE FRASER. 

.Song " 0' a' the Airts Mr D. MILLER. 

Song" Willie's gane to Melville Castle" Mrs MUNRO (Miss LIBBIE WATT). 

The musical part of the programme was gone through without 
a hitch, the vocalists, without exception, acquitting themselves 
.admirably. The programme was opened by Mr Murdo Maclennan, 
who appeared in the Highland dress, and gave a Gaelic song in a 
manner which elicited the hearty appreciation of the many present 
who were familiar with the language. Mrs Munro, Strathpeffer 
(Miss Watt), received an enthusiastic welcome on this her first 
public appearance in Inverness since her marriage. Her song was 
'" Doun the burn," a fine Scotch ditty, which no northern vocalist 
can sing as well. The audience listened in great enjoyment, and 
called forth an encore, when Mrs Munro gracefully responded with 
" Within a mile of Edinburgh toon," with the rendering of which 
none seemed more captivated than Professor Blackie. Mr JSneas 
Fraser, a prominent member of the Choral Union, sang the next 
song. " The March of the Cameron Men" is one of Mr Fraser's 
masterpieces, and he sung it on this occasion with a verve which 
appealed to every Highlander present. The next artiste was Miss 
Clara Fraser, who sang with cultivated taste the melodious piece, 
" A Dear Wifie." In response to an encore, Miss Fraser favoured 
the house with the sweet and ever popular ballad, " Annie Laurie," 
with even better effect. Mr Alexander Ross, who made a fine 
stalwart Highlander, re-introduced the Gaelic element with 
" 'S toigh learn a' Ghaidhealtachd," and responded to an encore 
with an English version of the words. Miss Macarthur contributed 
to the programme popular selections on the pianoforte, and the 
song " Cam' ye by Athol," and in both departments proved her- 
self an able and accomplished young lady. Miss Macarthur was 
heartily encored for her singing, and, in response, gave " Sound 
the Pibroch," from the " Songs of the North," which are now 
becoming well known and popular. " Macgregor's Gathering" was 



10 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

pleasingly sung by Mr D. Miller; also "Jessie the flower o r 
Dunblane" (encore), and "0' a' the airts ;" after which a novelty 
was introduced in the form of a Scotch reel by four young Gaels, viz.,. 
Misses Agnes Maggie Cameron and Grace Macdonald, and Masters 
David John King and Sutton Clark, who were all dressed in 
pretty Highland costumes. The grace and spirit with which the 
quartette went through the dance elicited applause which was 
thundering in its expressiveness, and, as an encore, the performers 
danced the Highland Fling. Miss Kate Fraser brought part first 
to a close with " Maccrimmon's Lament," which was sung with 
sweetness and taste. The song was so well sung by Miss Fraser 
that its repetition was demanded, and she appropriately gave it 
in English. "Flora Macdonald's Lament," by Mr Ballantyne; 
and another song, " Jock o' Hazeldean," from Miss Clara Fraser, 
led up to Professor Blackie's speech. There was a reel (Tulloch) 
by four Highland dancers, and it proved a popular incident on the 
programme. The evening was now far advanced the concert 
terminated at 10.45 and a number of the audience had left the 
meeting, but those who remained were well rewarded for their 
patience by hearing Mrs Munro sing " Willie's gane to Melville 
Castle," to the music and humour of which she did captivating 
justice. During the evening the pianoforte accompaniments were 
ably played by Miss C. Fraser, Church Street. The Chairman pro- 
posed a vote of thanks to the performers, which was very heartily 
responded to. Sir Kenneth Matheson, Bart, of Ardross, in a few 
complimentary terms, proposed a vote of thanks' to the 
Chairman for presiding, and the assembly thereafter terminated 
by the company singing " Auld Lang Syne," in which the audience 
heartily joined. 



28th NOVEMBER, 1888. 

A largely attended meeting was held on this date, Sir Henry 
C. Macandrew, Provost of Inverness, in the chair. The Secretary 
intimated the following donations towards the library : From 
Mr John M'Kay, C.E., Hereford, u Oratio Dominica ;" Mr A. H. 
F. Cameron, Liverpool, " The Mountain Heath ;" Mr D. William 
Kemp, Ivy Lodge, Edinburgh, Bishop Pocoke's " Tour in Suther- 
land and Caithness ;" *and " Artificial Lightning," by Mr D.. 
Bruce, Peebles. 



A Modern Raid. 11 

Mr Kersneth Macdonald, Town-Clerk of, Inverness, thereafter 
read a paper, entitled, " A Modern Raid in Glengarry and Glen- 
moriston." Mr Macdouald's paper was as follows : 

A MODERN RAID IN GLENGARRY AND GLENMORISTON T . 
THE BURNING OF THE CHURCH OF CILLIECHRIOST. 

Our party numbered four, our host Bailie Duncan Macdonald, 
of Inverness, a Glenmoriston man, proud of the beauties and 
historic memories of his native glen, and of its men, and his three 
guests, the Provost, the Senior Bailie, and the Town Clerk of" 
Inverness. On a cloudy day in July, 1888, we landed from the 
"Gondolier" at Cullochy, where we found ponies awaiting us. A 
ride of two or three miles along the Northern flank of Glengarry, 
first over a rough road, and then over rough pasture land, bog, 
and rock, brought us to the neighbourhood of the so-called "cave" 
of Allan Macranald of Lundie. Leaving our ponies, we scrambled 
over rook and bracken to the verge of a deep ravine at the bottom 
6f which rushed a noisy torrent. Led by our guide we carefully 
let ourselves down the side of the ravine, and then picked our way 
over the rocky bed of the torrent to the " cave." Cave, properly 
so-called, there was none, and apparently never had been. A 
portion of the precipitous rocky bank of the stream had at some 
remote period become detached from the parent rock, and slipping 
down, lay among a heap of debris within a few feet of the cliff. 
To make a passably comfortable, and, in a friendly neighbourhood, 
an entirely safe hiding place out of this would be easy enough, 
and, according to tradition, this was one of the hiding places of 
Allan of Lundie after the raid of Cilliechriost. The other was on 
an island in Loch Lundie, a mile or two further up the glen. 
There is no trace on the island of its having been inhabited, nor, 
with the exception of a few doubtful chisel or hammer marks, is 
there any such evidence at the cave. The tradition, however, 
connecting both places Avith Allan Macranald and his exploit in 
Brae-Ross is distinct. The rude heap of stones, therefore, which 
may have once afforded shelter to the man whose name has come 
down to us branded as the perpetrator of the act of savagery with 
which the name Cilliechriost is associated, had an interest for us, 
and we lingered over it for a time discussing the story. 

The story of the burning of the church of Cilliechriost, with 
which we are now so familiar, was given to the public for the first 
time, so far as I have been . able to ascertain, when Gregory 



12 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

published his History of the Western Highlands and Islands fifty- 
two years ago. The story, as told by Gregory, is that in 1603 
" The Clanranald of Glengarry, under Allan Macranald of Lundie, 
made an irruption into Brae-Ross, and plundered the lands of 
Kilchrist and other adjacent lands belonging to the Mackenzies." 
Up to this point there is evidence to support Gregory. But he 
goes on to say, " this foray was signalised by the merciless burn- 
ing of a whole congregation in the Church of Kilchrist, while 
Glengarry's piper marched round the building mocking the cries 
of the unfortunate inmates with the well-known pibroch which has 
been known ever since under the name of Kilichrist, as the family 
tune of Clanranald of Glengarry." This is, as I have said, the 
earliest printed notice of the burning of the Church of Cilliechriost, 
but that there was a floating tradition of the burning of a church 
full of people by the Macdonalds of Glengarry, long before Gregory 
wrote, is proved by a passage in Johnson's Tour to the Hebrides 
(p. 108, 1st edn.), where the author relates that as he sat at the 
table of Sir Alexander Macdonald at Armadale, in Skye, and the 
party were being entertained by the music of the bagpipes, " an 
elderly gentleman informed us that in some remote time the Mac- 
donalds of Glengarry, having been injured or offended by the, 
inhabitants of Culloden, and resolving to have justice or vengeance, 
came to Culloden on a Sunday, where, finding their enemies at 
worship, they shut them up in the Church, which they set on fire ; 
and this, said he, is the tune that the piper played while they 
were burning." This story was told to Johnson in 1773, and it is 
worth noting that he renders the name given to him of the place 
where the burning took place into Culloden a name with which 
he was naturally familiar. Hugh Miller in his "Schools and 
Schoolmasters " makes a passing reference to the passage in John- 
son, and says that the scene of the atrocity was the Church of 
Cilliechriost, not Culloden. The Origines Parochiaks repeals the 
story of the burning of the Church, and quotes Hugh Miller in 
addition to Gregory and the authorities quoted by him. Sir 
Thomas Dick Lander's " Legend of Allan with the Red Jacket " 
gives an extended version of the story of the Raid of Cilliechriost, 
touched up here and there by bits of local colour, which, while 
they serve to present the narrative in an attractive form, put an 
end to any pretension it might have to be treated as serious 
history. In the " History of the Mackenzies," Mr Alexander Mac- 
kenzie treats the whole tradition of the Raid of Cilliechriost as 
historical fact, and not merely so, but he embodies in his history a 
narrative which appeared in a book entitled " Highland Tales and 



A Modern Raid. 13- 

Legends," edited by himself, containing statements which there 
never was even a vestige of tradition to warrant. According to 
the veracious author of those tales, Allan Macranald, whose 
personal prowess was only equalled by his intense ferocity, burn- 
ing to avenge the losses of his clan in recent encounters with the 
Mackenzies, and particularly the death of the young Chief of 
Glengarry (to whose body a tradition, not mentioned by the 
writer, says unspeakable indignity was offered at the church of 
Kintail), gathered together a number of the most desperate of the 
clan, and by a forced march arrived at the Church of Cilliechriost 
on a Sunday forenoon, while it was filled with worshippers of the 
Clan Mackenzie. Surrounding the building, the Macdonalds set 
fire to the thatched roof. While a gentle breeze from the east 
fanned the flames, the song of praise mingled with the crackling 
of the flames until the worshippers, becoming conscious of their 
situation, rushed to the door and windows, where they were met 
by a double row of bristling swords. The writer then goes on to 
describe the wild wail of despair, the shrieks of women, the 
infuriated cries of men, and the helpless screaming of children, 
which, mingled with the roar of the flames, appalled the Mac- 
donalds, but not Allan Dubh, who commanded that all who 
attempted to escape should be thrust back into the flames, " and 
they were thrust back or mercilessly hewn down within the narrow 
porch until the dead bodies piled upon each other opposed an 
insurmountable barrier to the living." Mothers threw their 
children from the windows, but " at the command of Allan of 
Lundie, they were received on the points of the broadswords of 
men in whose breasts mercy had no place." The Macdonalds are 
described as listening with delight during the tragedy to the piper 
of the band, who played round the burning building, to drown the 
screams of the victims, an extempore pibroch, which has ever smce 
been the war-tune of Glengarry. Then follows this brilliant piece 
of writing " East, West, North, and South, looked Allan Dubh 
Macranuil. Not a living soul met his eye. . . . not a sound 
met his ear, and his own tiger soul sunk within him in dismay. 
The parish of Cilliechriost seemed swept of every living thing. 
The fearful silence that prevailed in a quarter lately so thickly 
peopled, struck his followers with dread, for they had given in one 
hour the inhabitants of a whole parish one terrible grave. The 
desert which they had created filled them with dismay, heightened 
into terror by the howls of the masterless sheep-dogs, and they 
turned to fly." The writer then goes on to say that Allan, before 
leaving Cilliechriost, divided his party into two, one returning by 



14 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Glenconvinth, and the other by Inverness. He then describes the 
pursuit of the two parties, the former, which was under the 
command of Allan himself, by a party of Mackenzies under Alex- 
ander Mackenzie of Coul, and the latter by a party under Murdoch 
Mackenzie of Redcastle. Redcastle overtook the Macdonalds he was 
in pursuit of while they were in a house at Torbreck, near Inverness, 
resting. He set the house on fire, and the Macdonalds, thirty-seven 
in number, suffered the death which, according to the writer, they 
had earlier in the day so wantonly inflicted. The party under Coul, 
says the writer, overtook the Macdonalds as they were resting 
on the hills towards the burn of Aultsigh, a burn which we 
know lies to the south of Glen-Urquhart and between it and 
Glenmoriston. The Macdonalds fled towards the burn, but many 
missed the ford and fell under^the swords of the Mackenzies. The 
remainder held on for miles, and, when morning dawned, Allan 
and his party were seen ascending the southern ridge of Glen- 
Urquhart (that is, still towards the Aultsigh), with the Mackenzies 
close in their rear. Allan called on his men to disperse, and then 
set forward at the height of his speed, but, after a time, found the 
Mackenzies still following him in one unbroken mass. Again, 
says the writer, Allan divided his men, and bent his flight towards 
the shore of Loch Ness, but the foe still followed him. He then 
commanded his few remaining followers to leave him, and they 
did so. What follows had better be given in the writer's own 
, words: " Taking a short course towards the fearful ravine of 
Aultsigh" (one would like to ask the writer if this is the same 
Aultsigh near which the previous night's battle took place), " he 
divested himself of his plaid and buckler, and turning to the 
leader of the Mackenzies, who had nearly come up to him, 
beckoned him to follow ; then, with a few yards of a run, he 
sprang over tfye yawning chasm." Mackenzie attempted to follow, 
but only succeeded in touching the opposite bank with his toes. 
Slipping down, he clung to a slender shoot of hazel which grew 
over the brink. Allan, noticing the agitation of the hazel, 
returned, and, saying to Mackenzie, "I have given much to your 
race this day, I shall give them this also, surely now the debt is 
paid," cut the twig with his sword, and Mackenzie " was dashed 
from crag to crag until he reached the stream below a bloody and 
mis-shapen mass." Allan recommenced his flight, but, being 
wounded by a musket shot from one of the Mackenzies, he plunged 
into Loch Ness, and swam towards the opposite shore. Allan's 
friend, Fraser of Foyers, attracted by the sight of the armed men 
on the opposite side of the loch, and seeing a man swimming, had 



A Modern Raid. 15 

"his boat launched, and rescued Allan, who remained in the house 
of Foyers until his wound was cured. 

Such is the account given of the raid of Cilliechriost in the 
" Highland Tales and Legends," and quoted in the " History of the 
Mackenzies," and it is quoted in all seriousness without comment, 
all but the statement that the leader of the Mackenzies was 
killed, which Mr Mackenzie correctly points out was not the fact. 
Alexander Mackenzie of Coul, the leader of the party who went in 
pursuit of Allan Macranald, is known to have lived until 1650 
forty-seven years after the raid. In this very important par- 
ticular, therefore, of the fate of the leader, tha legend is admittedly 
inaccurate. Moreover, its account of the battle on the banks of 
the Aultsigh, the subsequent pursuit by moonlight, until in the 
morning the Macdonalds were seen ascending the southern ridge 
of Glen-Urquhart, still towards the Aultsigh they had been fleeing 
from all night, is a grotesque absurdity. The fearful silence, of 
which the chief characteristic was the howling of masterless sheep 
dogs, is somewhat difficult to realise, and it is quite as difficult to 
understand how if, as is stated in one sentence, the Macdonalds 
had given the inhabitants of a whole parish one terrible grave, 
the next can be true which states that the terrible deed roused the 
Mackenzies as effectually as if the fiery cross had been sent 
through their territories. If the first statement were true, there 
would be no Mackenzie left in Kilchrist to carry the fiery cross, or 
to be roused by the terrible deed. 

Stripped, however, of its admitted inaccuracies and of its 
unintelligibilities, the narrative contains these assertions, the truth 
of which I mean to test : 

1. That the Church of Cilliechriost with its congregation of 
worshippers was burnt by the Macdonalds under Allan Mac- 
ranald of Lundy in 1603 ; and 

2. That the Macdonalds fled hurriedly from Cilliechriost, and, 
when pursued by the Mackenzies, their flight became a rout. 

The two must to some extent be taken together. 

It will be remembered that, so far as the reading public is con- 
cerned, the story of the burning of the Church originated with 
Gregory. The authorities quoted by Gregory are the Letterfearn 
MS.; Sir Robert Gordon's History of Sutherland, p. 248; and 
Keg. Privy Seal XCIV. 142. I have not seen the Letterfearn 
MS., but I have seen one of earlier date, which I shall immediately 
refer to. Sir Robert Gordon's History was written in 1639, and 
the writer was an interested spectator of events in the Highlands 
for many years before that. At the da,te of the raid, he was 23 



16 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

years of age. What he says at the place cited by Gregory is :- 
" The year of God 1602, the tribe of Clan Kenzie fell at variant 
with the Laird of Glengarry (one of the Clanranald), who, beinj 
unexpert and unskilful in the laws of the realm, the Clan Kenzi 
easily entrapped him within the compass thereof, and secretl; 
charged him (but not personally) to appear before the Justice a 
Edinburgh, having, in the meantime, slain two of his kinsmen 
Glengarry, not knowing, or neglecting the charge and summons 
came not to Edinburgh at the prefixt day, but went about t 
avenge the slaughter of his kinsmen, whereby he was denounce< 
rebel and outlawed together with divers of his followers. So b; 
the means and credit of the Earl of Dunfermline, Lord Chancello 
of Scotland, Kenneth Mackenzie, Lord of Kintail, did purchase i 
commission against Glengarry and his men, 'whereby proceedec 
great slaughter and trouble. Mackenzie, being assisted by th 
neighbouring countries, by virtue of his commission, went int< 
Morall and spoiled Glengarrie his countrey, wasting and destroy 
ing the same with fire and sword at his pleasure. Then, in hi 
return from Morall, he beseidged the Castle of Strome, which i] 
end was rendered onto him by the Captain onto whom Gleiigarri 
had committed the defence thereof. The Earl of Sutherland (IT 
reason of the old friendship and amitie between his family and th< 
Clan Kenzie) sent twelve score well-appointed and chosen men ti 
assist Mackenzie in this expedition, who were conducted by Johi 
Gordoun of Ernbo. Thereafter Mackenzie did invade Glengarrii 
his eldest son whom they killed with sixty of his followers, no 
without some slaughter of the Clan Kenzie likewise. In end, afte: 
great slaughter on either syd, they came to a friendlie aggriemen 
and decreit-arbitrall, whereby Glengarrie (for to obteyne his peace 
wes glaid to quyte and renuuce to Kenneth Mackenzie (who wai 
afterwards created Lord of Kintaile) the inheritance of the Strom< 
with the land adjacent. Thus doe the tryb of Clan Kenzie becom< 
great in these pairts, still encroaching upon their neighbours, wh< 
are onacquented with the la wes of this Kingdome." [Gordon's 
Earldom of Sutherland, p. 248.] It will thus be seen that Si: 
Robert Gordon, while treating with some detail the quarre 
between the Mackenzies and the Macdonalds even noticing th< 
killing of two of Glengarry's kinsmen by Lord Kintail makes nc 
reference to the raid of Cilliechriost, which, if it had involved th< 
murder and sacrilege which Gregory ascribed to it, would surely 
have been deemed worthy of notice by a contemporary historiar 
treating of the relations of the parties to it, and favourably dis 
posed to the Mackenzies. Perhaps, however, the most importanl 



A Modern Raid. 17 

fact for us at present is that Gordon does not say a word to 
warrant the statement for which Gregory quotes him as authority. 
I have not been able to consult the Register of the Privy Seal 
referred to by Gregory, but it has been examined for 
me by Sir William Fraser, and it dors not support 
Gregory's account, while it is in exact accord with that given 
in the " Chiefs of Grant," which I shall immediately quote. 
This leaves us with the Letterfearn MS. It is somewhat unsatis- 
factory to have to dispose of its authority without having seen it, 
but let it be assumed that it states the church and congregation 
were burnt. My answer is, It cannot be true. The Letterfearn 
MS. is said to have been written by Mr John Macrae, who became 
minister of Dingwall in 1674, and who was in all probability born 
about 1640. The raid of Cilliechriost, therefore, took place 
between thirty and forty years before his birth. This, however, 
would not be enough to discredit such an account in the Letter- 
fearn MS. if it contained it. But if there is an earlier MS. than 
the Letterfearn one, of at least equal, authority in every other 
respect, and containing a detailed account of the raid, then that 
account must be accepted in preference to any later one. Such an 
account we have in a MS. history of the Mackenzies, written either 
by Mr Farquhar Macrae, who was born at Islandonain in 1580, 
who became minister of Kintail and Constable of Islandonain in 
1618, and who lived until 1662, or by his son, Mr John 
Macrae (the uncle of the writer of the Letterfearn MS.) who was 
born in 1614, eleven years after the raid, and who became minister 
of Dingwall in 1640. Both father and son were favourites 
with Earls Colin and George of Seaforth, the latter of whom en- 
trusted the education of his son, Kenneth, Lord Kintail, who 
became third Earl of Seaforth on his father's death in 1651, to 
Mr Farquhar. The contents of the MS. would point to Mr Far- 
quhar Macrae as the writer of it. The document bears internal 
evidence of its genuineness, and it is the " Ancient MS." so fre- 
quently quoted by Mr Mackenzie in his " History of the Mac- 
kenzies." I am indebted to Mr Mackenzie for the opportunity of 
examining and quoting from it. Much of the Letterfearn MS. 
was, I am informed by Mr Mackenzie, copied from it. The account 
this MS. gives of the Raid of Cilliechriost is as follows : " Shortly 
after this, Allan Macranald of Lundy made ane onset to the Braes 
of Ross, and burnt the lands of Cilliechroist and other adjacent 
towns, whereupon my Lord Kintail sends two parties in pursuit of 
him, one commanded by Murdo Mackenzie of Redcastle, the other 
by Alexander Mackenzie of Coul. Redcastle went the wav of 



18 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Inverness to Stratherrick, and, accidentally, in a town called Tor- 
riebreck, he gets intelligence that Angus Macrory and thirty-six of 
his followers were drinking in a change-house near by. A man of 
Redcastle, being well acquaint, called Donald Mackenneth Peiper, 
led them secretly to the house, sets it on fire, and every man as 
came out they killed. Ranald himself coming at last to the door, 
he sought quarters, which Redcastle would have granted him, but 
one Donald Maccurchie said, ' You shall have such quarters as you 
gave to Donald Macconochy Chyle ' (this Donald was a very pretty 
fellow of the Clan Ian Odhar, who was killed by this Ranald after 
he had given him quarter, when young Glengarry harried Loch- 
carron), so, when he understood there was no mercy for him, he 
ran out. The other gave such a race after him, came so near him 
that he could not shoot him, struks him with the bow on the head, 
which he brake, throws him flat to the ground, but or he can 
recover himself, he sticket him with his dirk (so we may see one 
ill turn meets another). Of his company none escaped, except one 
subtle fellow (which I cannot forget), who came out at the roof of 
the house, began to tirr it and crying for water, and said, with a 
loud voice, * Mackenzie, though you have a quarrel against the 
Clan Ranald, I hope you have none against my master and me, 
when you burn my house after this manner.' With this he went 
free, as if he had been landlord indeed, and Redcastle turns home- 
ward with his company. The other party that went with 
Alexander Mackenzie of Coul went the way of Beauly to Urquhart 
and to Glenmoriston, and foretakes Allan Macranald resting them- 
selves on a sheill in little huts, near a rough burn called Aldsayh. 
Giving the alarm, some of them, with Allan, fought manfully, 
others fled, which all alike of them were forced in end to do, but, 
as their misfortune was, they missed the ford, the burn was so 
rough running twixt two craigs that severals broke their bones 
there, shunning their killing they met death in their way, but 
Ranald, being half naked as he fled, lapp just over it, and made 
his escape of all the rest. The pursuers seeing him loupe and on 
the other side, notwithstanding thereof, could not be persuaded he 
did it, and no man ever saw that place yet that could believe it, 
which, being several times asked of himself afterwards, he said he 
knew sensibly he loupt that very place, but how he came over that 
he knew not, except it was with the wings of fear and providence, 
but give him all the world he would not try it again." 

This is the earliest written account of the Raid of Cilliechriost, 
and the fact that it tells the story of the raid without in the most 
remote way suggesting that anything so terrible and unusual as 



A Modern Raid. 19 

the burning of a church full of people had occurred is ot itself 
sufficient to outweigh the loose evidence of a tradition the origin 
of which no one knows. But the evidence on the subject does not 
stop here. Gregory expresses his astonishment that such a terrible 
instance of private vengeance should have occurred in the begin- 
ning of the seventeenth century without public notice being taken 
of it, and well he might. But, although the raid was far from 
being so serious an affair as Gregory believed it, public notice was 
taken of it. A prosecution was instituted by Mr John Mackenzie, 
Archdean of Ross, with the concurrence of the Lord- 
Advocate, against Allan Mac ran aid of Lundie on account of 
the raid, and the facts laid before the Crown show that 
the raid was one of a kind then common enough, and 
was not accompanied by any such barbarity as tradition credits it 
with. In short, the judicial proceedings corroborate the evidence 
.afforded by the silence of the contemporary historian Sir Robert 
Gordon, and that of the Rev. Farquhar Macrae, the writer of the 
contemporary account of the raid, who, while professing to give a 
full narrative of all that took place, makes no mention of the 
Cilliechriost church. 

Allan, it appears from Sir William Eraser's " History of 
-the Chiefs of Grant," was summoned to appear before 
the Justice Clerk to answer the charge against him, but wisely 
preferred to remain at home, trusting to his friends' ability to 
.arrange matters for him when time should have modified the ran- 
cour of his foes. In consequence of his non-appearance, Allan was 
denounced rebel, and his estates forfeited. On 7th December, 
1622 about five months after the forfeiture his friend, Sir John 
'Grant, procured a gift of the escheat from the Crown in his own 
favour, and in the letter of gift, which Sir William Fraser quotes, 
the causes of the forfeiture are narrated. After mentioning the 
goods forfeited, the letter proceeds " Which pertained of before 
to Allan Macranald of Lundie, in Glengarrie, and now pertaining 
to us, fallen and become in our hands and at our gift and disposi- 
tion by reason of escheat through being of the said Allan Mac- 
ranald upon the 28th day of June last by past, orderly denounced 
our rebel and put to our horn by virtue of our other letters 
raised and executed against the said Allan at the instance of Mi- 
John Mack&izie, Archdean of Ross, for himself and as master with 
the remanent kin and friends of umquhile Alexander MacCaye, 
John MacCaye, Donald MacCaye his son, Alexander Gald, and 
tenants and servants to the said Mr John of 
his town and lands of Kilchrist, and also at the instance of Sir 



20 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

William Olephant of Newton Knight, our Advocate, for our inte- 
rest, for not finding of sufficient caution and surety to our Justice 
Clerk and his Deputes, acted in our books of adjournal that he 
should compear before our Justice and his deputes, and underlie 
the laws for the treasonable and wilfull raising of fire, and cruelly 
and unmercifully murdering and slaying of the said umquhile 
Alexander MacCaye, umquhile Johne, and umquhile Donald Mac- 
Cayis, and Alexander Gald, and tenants to the 

said Mr John Mackenzie, of the said town and lands of Gilchriste, 
burning and destroying of the number of twenty-seven dwelling- 
houses within the said town, with the barns, byres, and kilns 
belonging thereto, and burning and destroying of the said Mr 
John his haill librarie and books, together with twenty score bolls 
oats and eight score bolls bere, being in the said Mr Johne his 
ham and barnyard, and theftously stealing and away-taking of nine 
piece of horse with the said Mr Johne his own best horse,* three 
score ten oxen and kye, and that in the month of September, the 
year of God 1603 years, the time of the feud then standing 
betwixt umquhile Kenneth Lord Kintaill and Donald Macangus of 
Glengarrie." 

" This narration," says Sir William Eraser, " divests the raid of 
Cilliechriost of its traditionary horrors, and reduces it to the 
dimensions of an attack by a party of Macdonalds, under Allan 
dubh Macranald, upon the Archdean of Ross, who, being a Mac- 
kenzie of prominence, would be peculiarly obnoxious to the raiders. 
The resistance of the Archdean's tenants to the attack on their 
laird probably incited the Macdonalds to extend their destructive 
operations to their dwellings in addition to that of the Archdean, 
and in the strife several of the tenants were slain. It is impos- 
sible to suppose that had any terrible sacrilege and cruelty taken 
place such as tradition relates, it would have been omitted from 
the charge against the Laird of Lundie, especially when the Arch-, 
dean himself was the author of the process."* 

It is difficult to overtake and more difficult to kill a falsehood 
when it gets a day's start. HOW T much more difficult when it gets. 
a start of more than a century. It is for those who allege that the 
men of Glengarry committed the atrocity of burning a church full 
of people to prove their case. If they say it is proved by a tra- 
dition, I reply that there never was a vestige of tradition even to 
justify the horrible details piled up by the writer of the legend 
quoted by Mr Mackenzie in his " History of the Mackenzies." So 
far as these are concerned we are able .to say that they 
*. Chiefs of Grant, Vol. I., pp. 221-2. 



A Modern Raid. 21 

originated in the fertile brain of the nineteenth century 
writer quoted I must say improperly quoted by Mr Mac- 
kenzie. As to the bare tale that a church and congrega- 
tion were burnt at Kilchrist, of which there is a tradition, I 
say that, in the fa^e not merely of the absence of contemporary 
evidence to support it, but of the positive evidence afforded by 
contemporary writers, one of whom, the writer of the u Ancient 
MS.," describes the whole raid, and, in spite of what would have 
seemed, had the story of the burning of the church occurred, the 
divine retribution which overtook many of the raiders at Torbreck 
on the same day, says nothing of a church being burnt, while he 
describes all else minutely in the face of that evidence I say the 
tradition must yield. The proceedings taken nineteen years after 
by the Archdean of Ross, and the narrative given in them, dispel 
any remaining vestige of doubt. 

It may be objected that the Archdean only pursued Allan of 
Lundie for the loss sustained by himself and his own tenants, and 
that mention of the burning of the church and congregation was 
not a matter on account of which he would personally prosecute. 
Perhaps so, but no one who reads the Privy Council Records of 
the period will maintain that even in a semi-private prosecution 
arising out of the raid, the fact that one man even had been burnt 
to death would have remained unmentioned if it were the fact. 
The meaning of the narrative in the letter of gift manifestly is 
that the men were killed in fight while resisting the raiders. 
What then becomes of the promenade of Glengarry's piper round 
the burning church improvising a new pibroch? Then, why 
should not the burning of the church be complained of, if it took 
place, as well as the twenty-seven houses 1 These houses no more 
belonged to the Archdean than the church, yet he mentions the 
fact that they and their barns, byres, and kilns were burnt, not 
because they belonged to him, but as part of the narrative he laid 
before the Crown describing the raid in order to obtain the con- 
currence of the Lord Advocate to the criminal prosecution. The 
narrative names four persons who were killed, and it indicates that 
there may have been a fifth. That is the death-roll of the raid. 
Had it been otherwise, the complaint would have mentioned the 
fact. An examination of the Privy Council Records of the time, 
when such complaints were common, will prove this. What then 
becomes of the church full of men, women, and children 1 There 
is some reason to believe, moreover, that the Archdean himself 
was at the time serving the cure of Cilliechriost at all events, he 
had his residence there, and was certainly incumbent of the neigh- 



22 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

bouring parish of Killearuan, and Cilliechriost was within the 
Diocese in which he was a high church dignitary. Is it probable- 
thafc this gentleman would have made the burning of twenty-seven 
black houses matter of complaint to the Privy Council and not 
even refer to the fact that a church within his Diocese had been 
burnt at the same time with its whole congregation 1 The thing- 
is incredible. In a letter I had a few days ago from Sir William 
Eraser, that learned writer says, " had such an outrage occurred, 
it could not fail to have been specially noticed in the proceedings 
against the raiders, and the absence of any such charge against 
them outweighs the tradition however precise. Many traditions 
as persistent and precise as this about the burning of the 
worshippers have been exploded." 

The origin of the tradition is not far to seek. There is a much 
older tradition that in 1487, before the battle of Park, the Mac- 
donalds burnt the church of the neighbouring parish of Contin, 
with a large number of Mackenzies w r ho had fled to it for refuge 
in the belief that their enemies would respect their sanctuary. 
It is easy to understand how, in the course of years, the two 
stories got mixed, until now the earlier association of the burning 
of worshippers with the Contin church is forgotten, and the story 
transferred to Cilliechriost. It is not at all improbable, too, that 
Contin was the name mentioned in Dr Johnson's presence, although 
he rendered it Culloden, either through imperfect hearing or imper- 
fect recollection. 

. The church burning part of the story disposed of, the 
remainder of the tradition is not of so much consequence, but it 
is instructive to know that the most ardent believers in the 
tradition say that there is no place on the Aultsigh where Allan's 
wonderful leap could have been made. True, they point to 
another place a few miles away, which might fit into the tradition. 
But the tradition that Aultsigh was the place is precise, and was 
as universally accepted as the burning of the church, until scrutin- 
ised. Again, the story of the leap into Loch Ness and the rescue 
by Fraser of Foyers is contradicted by local traditions in Glen- 
garry and Glenmoriston. 

In the former, the tradition is that the Laird of Lundie 
returned home immediately after the raid, and, in Glenmoriston, 
tradition points out the place half a mile below Torgoyle Bridge, 
where Allan and his people crossed the River Moriston on their 
return home from the raid. And this not only fits in with the 
other local traditions connected with the raid, but it accounts for 



A Modern Raid. 23 

the carrying off of the Archdean of Ross's cattle an impossible 
feat had the flight from Cilliechriost been so hurried and the sub- 
sequent rout of the raiders been so complete as the writer quoted 
by Mr Mackenzie would have us believe. The proceedings by the 
Archdean state that 70 cattle were taken from Cilliechriost, and 
the fact that the proceedings were taken 1 9 years afterwards shows 
that the raiders succeeded in carrying them away, and that any 
pursuit which may have taken place was unsuccessful. The 
raiders, therefore, would seem to have returned home somewhat 
leisurely, and the skirmish at Aultsigh was probably no more 
than a chance encounter between a rear-guard of the Macdonalds, 
under Allan himself, and a pursuing party of the Mackenzies, who 
came up too late to engage the main body of the Macdonalds. 
The writer of the ancient MS. says nothing of a leap into Loch 
Ness or a rescue by Fraser of Foyers, and the inference is fair 
that Allan returned to Glengarry. The fact that he had two 
hiding-places in his native glen goes to show that he was sought 
for by a force so strong that he could not hope to beat them in 
open fight. It is extremely improbable that against such a force 
the Laird of Foyers would have been able to defend him. It is 
much more probable that Allan reached his native glen and his 
island fastness immediately after the raid. He had not been long 
at Lundie when, according to local tradition, a strong body of 
Kintail Mackenzies surrounded the Loch and attempts d to capture 
him in the night time. Allan was alone, and, but for his boldness 
would have been lost. He adopted tactics similar to those 
adopted by the blacksmith of Moy nearly a century and a half 
later, to deceive his foes. Pretending to have a large body of 
men at hand he called in a loud voice, " Our common enemy is 
here, surround them." Midnight courage is a rare thing, and the 
Kintail men fearing to meet a superior force of whose disposition 
they knew nothing, took to flight over the hill. Allan followed 
them, and by shooting an arrow at one of his fleeing foes when he 
got him between him and the sky-line, he succeeded in killing 
twenty-one of them before they reached the summit of the hill. 
This tradition can, of course, only be accepted with very consider- 
able modification. It is, however, instructive as showing the two 
lines in which tradition has gone in dealing with Allan Macranald. 
In his own country he has been made a miracle of bravery and 
skill as a leader. In the country of his enemies the Mackenzies, 
he has been made a miracle of ferocity. 

After this, Allan, it is said, felt that his island must be supple- 
mented by a second retreat, and the cave was prepared. He 



2-i Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

secured the services of a mason from the low country to make up 
his cave, and when the mason work was finished and the cave 
ready for occupation, Allan asked his assistant to go inside and see 
if all was right. This the mason did, and, as he came out, the 
hero of Cilliechriost struck off his head, so that no one but himself 
should know of the hiding place. On the moor overhead, at a 
spot a few hundred yards lower down the stream, a place is 
shown where a flat stone let into the ground is said to mark the 
mason's grave. So long as Allan of Lundie was believed 
guilty of burning women and children in the Church of Cillie- 
chriost, this story might have been credible, but if the raid 
of Cilliechriost was what I take it to have been, a success- 
ful foray by a handful of Glengarry men led by Allan 
of Lundie, a brave and skilful captain, into the heart of the terri- 
tory of a foe much more numerous than themselves, if the story of 
the flight of the Kintail men from Loch Lundie is even partially 
true, then the story of the dastardly treachery to the mason is 
incredible. The fearless leader of the men of Glengarry could not 
have done it. 

We were able to examine all the islands on Loch Lundie 
through the kindness of Mr Malcolm, Invergarry, who placed a 
guide and a boat at our disposal. One at least of the islands on 
tue Loch is artificial, and another, a larger island, is joined by an 
artificial causeway to the mainland. 

GLENMORISTON AND ITS TRADITIONS. 

Leaving Loch Lundie and its islands, we proceeded a short 
distance along the road, and then starting off to the right, began 
to climb the ridge separating Glengarry from Glenmoriston. A 
somewhat rough ride of six or seven miles over peat hags and rocks 
brought us to the summit of the ridge. In a moment Glenmoris- 
ton from Ceanacroc to Dundreggan broke upon our sight, 
affording in its beautiful and cultured loveliness, such a contrast 
to the bleak and dreary scenes through which we had been riding 
for hours that it looked like a bit of fairyland suddenly disclosed 
to us. But we soon had our attention called to objects of interest 
nearer at hand. All around us were rude cairns of stones, 
none of them large, but all built with some degree of care 
of the stones found in the vicinity. There is no name nor 
inscription outside, and no burial inside, but yet each cairn 
is the record of a burial a pathetic record of man's longing 
to have his bones laid with the dust of his kindred. After 



A Modern Raid. 25 

the Glengarry emigrations of the latter part of the last century 
and the beginning of the present, that glen was to some extent 
re-peopled from Glenmoriston. But the hearts of the migrated 
people remained in their native glen, and their last wish was that 
their dust should be carried back over the hill, and laid in the old 
churchyard of Glenmoriston how old no one knows where their 
ancestors had been buried for generations. And as one after the 
other the emigrants emigrants from home, although only to a 
neighbouring glen died, their surviving kin and neighbours car- 
ried the rude coffin over the bleak moor, mile after mile toilsomely, 
and sadly and silently enough, until they reached this spot, where 
the glen they still called home lay like a lovely picture below them. 
Behind lay the land of their adoption, bleak, barren, brown, and 
cold colder still as the land of the stranger. In front, below the 
softly wooded slopes, ran smoothly along its pearl-besprinkled bed 
the lovely Moriston, with the narrow haughlands on either bank, 
clothed in mixed green and gold of the ripening grain. What 
wonder then that the spot where, after perhaps years of absence, 
the old home came once more in sight in sight to all on that hill- 
top but the forever closed eyes of their silent burden the High- 
lander should instinctively build a cairn as his far-away ancestors 
did where a warrior died. And such is the history of the Ceann- 
a-Mhaim cairns. 

A short way down the slope on the Glenmoriston side a series 
of gravelly ridges runs along the flank of the hill. They form a 
noticeable feature in the landscape, and local tradition connects 
them with an invasion of the glen by the men of Skye somewhere 
in the fifteenth century. Whether such an invasion ever took 
place or not the ridges are much older than that, for our geologist 
(the Senior Bailie) had no difficulty in pronouncing them the late- 
ral moraines of a glacier which filled Glenmoriston a long time 
before Skyemen began to invade the mainland. 

Remounting our ponies after examining the moraines, a short 
steep ride brought us to a portion of General Wade's road from 
Fort-Augustus, following which we came to the new road through 
Glenmoriston, and then, crossing; the river by the ford at Achlain, 
we visited the old churchyard of Glenmoriston one of the oldest 
in the country in the centre of which lie the bones of the ances- 
tors of our host, whose family, Mac-Ian-Chaoil, was one of four 
septs of Macdonalds, who were powerful in Glenmoriston until the 
-downfall of the Lordship of the Isles. Not-withstanding the 
transfer of the patrimony of their Chief and Clan to the 
^Grants, these Macdonalds stuck to their glen, and they remain 



26 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

there honoured and honourable to this day. In or near the- 
churchyard there was at one time a Roman Catholic Chapel, 
the only vestige of which now is a stone rudely hollowed into the- 
form of a basin, which was at one time probably used as a Holy 
Water Font at the Chapel door. 

Leaving the churchyard, a few minutes brought us to the 
schoolhouse, where Mrs Macpherson (the niece of our host) had for 
hours had waiting for us a table loaded with good things, after- 
partaking of which we were fain to seek our pillows, but there was 
so much to comment and speculate on that, notwithstanding four 
A.M. was fixed for turning out, it was a good hour past midnight 
before we separated. 

Breakfast between four and five in the morning is not usually 
a hearty meal, but knowing, though only by report, something of 
what was before us, we made it as hearty as we could. Starting 
by 5.30 from Glenmoriston Schoolhouse, a run of a mile along the 
left bank of the Moriston brought us to Torgoyle Bridge, and the 
main road through Glenmoriston. As we drove along, our host, 
afire with the love and pride of his native glen, had story or legend 
for every mile of the way. Here, on the left, was the road by 
which that ill-mannered, though inspired, giant, Dr Samuel John- 
son, rode from Fort-Augustus to Skye. Yonder sheep-fank at the 
roadside, on your right, is all that remains of Aonach Inn, where 
Johnson and Boswell passed the night, and where Johnson, desiring 
to do a politeness to the Innkeeper's daughter, whom he found r 
apparently to his surprise, to be a young lady of some education, 
presented her with a book he had purchased in Inverness a copy 
of Cocker's Arithmetic ! That green spot on the other side of the 
river is Ballindrom, where our host's great-grandfather lived in 
1746, and there, two hundred yards nearer the river, is where a 
detachment of the Royal Army encamped while the turbulent 
Highlanders were being quelled, and their Prince hunted for after 
Culloden. While the troops were so encamped above, a son was 
born to the man below. But the Glenmoriston men were known 
to have been in sympathy with the Stuart cause, and to have been 
on their way to join the Prince on the day of Culloden, and to 
have turned back only on meeting the fugitives from that fatal 
field. From the time therefore that the King's troops pitched 
their camp in the Glen until they left it, the people were murdered 
and robbed at the sweet will of the Duke of Cumberland's gentle- 
men. In the hope that in their absence their wives and families- 
would be safe from insult, many of the men of Glenmoriston left 
their homes for a time, and took up their abode in the recesses of 



A Modern Raid. 27 

the mountains around them. Among the number who did this 
was the great-grandfather of our host, the father of the boy born 
in the house near the camp. The father was thus absent when 
his son was born, and he did not return until the Royal troops 
had left Glenmoriston. On his return his child was baptised, and 
named Charles, after the- unfortunate Prince whose cause the 
tender mercies of the Duke of Cumberland were sufficient to make 
popular if it had not been so already the Prince who was himself 
in hiding in Glenmoriston, and in the safe keeping of its men at 
the time the boy was born. That boy was the grandfather of our 
host, and Mr Charles Macdonald, his grandson, our host's eldest 
brother, was named after him. 

Further up the Glen on the left is the monolith in memory of 
Roderick Mackenzie, who, taking advantage of his likeness to the 
Prince, spent his last breath in the effort to save him ; and a few 
steps further on, in a hollow on the opposite side of the road, is 
the brave fellow's grave. A jeweller's son he was, from Edinburgh. 
In personal appearance he resembled the Prince, in whose body- 
guard he had served. He was hiding in Glenmoriston after 
Culloden, when the pursuit for the Prince was at its hottest. He 
was seen by a party of troops, pursued, wounded, and overtaken. 
As they poured the contents of their muskets into his body, and 
his life blood ebbed away, his only thought was for his Prince, and 
as he died he cried to his murdereis, "Villains; you have killed 
your Prince." They believed him, and his head was cut off and 
sent to Edinburgh. His devotion resulted in the slackening of the 
pursuit at a critical time, and probably in the ultimate escape of 
the Prince. Mr Chambers, in his History of the Rebellion, affects 
to doubt the story. If tradition counts for anything it is never- 
theless true. The grave is undoubtedly there, and Glenmoriston 
has testified to her belief in the heroism and devotion of the 
stranger whose blood dyed her sod by erecting a monument to- 
his memory. 

THE BATTLE OF THE BRAES OF GLENMORISTON. 

Further on to the right is Ceanacroc, where the river Doe, 
which comes tumbling noisily down Glen Fada, joins its waters to 
the peacefully flowing Moriston. Further on, on the right, is 
seen a piece of rising ground, on which, tradition says, a battle 
took place between a party of Gordons under the Marquis of 
Huntly, and the Camerons led by Lochiel. After a fierce fight 
the Gordons were defeated, and the Marquis wounded and a 



28 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

prisoner. At this point, says the tradition, the Mac-Ian-Chaoil 
sallied forth at the head of his men, attacked the Camerons, and 
rescued their prisoner. The Camerons managed, however, in 
retreating, to carry off seven of the Gordons whom they had 
taken, but, finding their prisoners an incumbrance they struck 
off their heads at Cnocknaceann, a name which survives to testify 
to the tragedy. Not content, says tradition, with merely rescuing 
the Marquis, the Mac-Ian-Chaoil nursed him until he had 
recovered from his wound, and then had him sent safely home. 
The tradition goes on to narrate that some time afterwards Mac- 
donald being in Strathbogie went to Gordon Castle and asked 
for the Marquis. For a long time he was denied access by the 
retainers, to whom he was unknown, but his persistency in the 
end led to the Marquis being told of the rough-looking Highlander 
who stood at the door of Gordon Castle demanding access to its 
master. When the Marquis knew who his visitor was, he not 
only welcomed him as an honoured guest and as one to whom he 
-owed his life, but he caused a lintel to be put over the chief 
entrance to Gordon Castle, bearing this Gaelic inscription, " Cha 
bhi Mac Iain Chaoil a mach agus Gordonach a stigh" that a 
Mac Ian Chaoil shall not be without and a Gordon within. So 
says tradition, and looking to the gigantic proportions of the 
representatives of Mac-Ian-Chaoil in the present da}-, we could 
well believe that the accession of even a very few of such men to 
one side would turn defeat into victory. As to the rest of the 
story is there not the battlefield and Cnocknaceann and Gordon 
Castle all to prove the truth of it ! 

I am indebted to Mr William Mackay, the author of a forth- 
coming History of the Glen and of the parish of which it forms 
part, for information which led me to what is probably the 
historical foundation of the tradition. Students of Scots History 
in the 17th century know that when Montrose was maintaining 
his heroic struggle on behalf of Charles I. in Scotland, in 1645 
and the early part of 1646, until in compliance with the twice- 
repeated command of the King he disbanded his army, there was 
none who gave him such doubtful and half-hearted support as the 
Marquis of Huntly. The cause of Huntly's lukewarmness would 
not perhaps be far to seek. Montrose disbanded his forces in 
July 1646 and sailed for Norway on 3rd September following. 
In December Huntly obtained a commission from the King, who 
was with the Scots army in England virtually a prisoner, commis- 
sioning him to levy forces in the North. In January 1647 the 
Scots army committed the infamy of giving up the King to the 



A Modern Raid. 29' 

English, and Leslie marched northward to suppress the rising 
headed by Huntly. Then was seen Huntly's incapacity to fill the 
place of Montrose, a leader whose greatness he was too small a 
man to see a leader too with whom had he loyally co-operated, 
*the history of our country might have been changed. Huntly 
retreated before Leslie through Badenoch into Lochaber, where he 
disbanded his men, retaining only a small party as a body-guard 
for himself and his son. With these he continued his flight 
through the Caledonian Valley. " In Glenmoriston," says Mr 
Mackay, " he was overtaken by General Middleton whom Leslie 
sent in pursuit, and a conflict followed in which his party was 
defeated and several of his men slain. He himself escaped for the 
time, but in November following he was taken prisoner in 
Strathdon." It appears from the editor's introduction to the 
Memoirs of Sir Ewen Cameron that some of the Clan Cameron 
assisted General Middleton when he defeated Huntly at the Braes 
of Glenmoriston in 1647 a fact which no doubt gave rise 
to the tradition that the conflict was between the Camerons 
and the Gordons. History does not say how the Marquis 
escaped from the field, or where to, bat there is no reason, 
to doubt the tradition that he obtained assistance and 
shelter in the immediate neighbourhood and from Mac-lan-Chaoil. 
As to the rest of the tradition I fear it must be given up. 
Huntly was a fugitive with a price on his head from the time the 
conflict in Glenmoriston took place until his capture in November 
following, and from the time of his capture he remained a close 
prisoner in Edinburgh, until in March 1649, he was led forth to 
execution. There was no Marquis of Huntly in Gordon Castle 
until after the Kestoration in 1660, and the Marquis then was the 
second in succession after the Marquis who was wounded in Glen- 
moriston. The tradition furnishes another instance of how 
unreliable mere tradition is as a basis for historical narrative. The 
story probably had its origin in a much earlier tradition of the 
Earl of Mar, who, as he fled wounded from the battle of Inver- 
lochy in 1431, was kindly treated by a man O'Birrin, who after- 
wards went to Kildrummie Castle, and, after experiencing difficulty 
in getting access to the Earl, at last saw him, and was sent home 
rich in the possession of sixty cows. 

THE BATTLE OF GLENSHIEL. 

But while the story of the battle of the Braes of Glenmoriston, 
is telling, we are passing historic ground 011 the other side. 
Away on the left, on the face of the almost precipitous cliffs. 



30 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

bounding the glen on the south, runs a narrow ledge rising 
gradually towards the summit at the west. This is known as the 
Spanish road. The name carries us back to that little known 
episode in the Jacobite Rebellions, the battle of Glenshiel, which 
took place on 10th June, 1719. After the failure of the rising 
under the Earl of Mar in 1715, the Jacobites received offers of 
assistance from Spain, and an imposing expedition was fitted out 
to effect a landing in the south of England, while at the same 
time a number of Spanish troops was to be landed in the High- 
lands to create a diversion. The Mackenzies and other clans loyal 
to the exiled royal family were expected to rally round the Spanish 
force, with whom were the Earl of Seaforth, the Marquis of Tulli- 
bardine, and Lord George Murray. The fleet destined to land the 
invaders in the south was dispersed by a storm and accomplished 
nothing, while the expedition to the north was, as soon as it had 
landed, distracted by dissensions among its chiefs. After spending 
a short time in Stornoway, the ships sailed towards the west 
coast of the mainland, and the Spaniards were landed at Eilean 
Donan Castle, which they proceeded to put into a defensive state. 
The Government was, however, on the outlook for the invaders, 
and in a few days two or three warships sailed up Loch Duich, and 
battered the walls of Eilean Donan Castle, which were never 
meant to resist artillery, until they began to tumble about the 
ears of the garrison. Leaving Eilean Donan therefore, the 
Spaniards, along with the Mackenzies, Macraes, Maclennans, and 
Macgregors the latter under Rob Roy marched to Glenshiel. 
where they were attacked and defeated by General Wightman, 
who had marched from Inverness to meet them. During the 
battle, the Spaniards, whose conduct was not heroic, retired to 
the heights of Sgurr Ouran, where next morning they laid down 
their arms, and 274 of them were conveyed to Edinburgh as 
prisoners. History does not say by what route they were con- 
veyed, but it is impossible to believe that General Wightman, 
whose force included four companies of dragoons and some light 
mortars, and who had come from Inverness to Glenshiel by way 
of Strathglass and Glen Affric, would have attempted to return by 
. a road impassable for cavalry, or would have divided his force by 
sending his prisoners under an escort by a different route from 
that taken by the main body. The "Spanish Road" 
did not therefore get its name from Wightman taking 
his prisoners along it, and there is no local explanation, 
so far as I know, of the origin of the name ; but as 
the number of Spaniards who surrendered is less than the lowest 
estimate of the number who landed, and they do not seem to have 



A Modern Raid. 31 

suffered much, if any, loss in Wightman'a attack, it seems probable 
that between the time the Spaniards retired to the heights of 
Sgurr Ouran, on 10th June, and the time the main body of them 
laid down their arms next day, some of them may have broken 
away from the main body, and, joining the Highlanders who dis- 
persed that night, have found their way over the watershed by the 
impassable-looking path in the steep rock face over Loch Clunie 
which has since borne their name. 

SGURR NAN CONBHAIREAN. 

We were now driving along the shores of Loch Clunie, which 
lay unruffled by so much as a ripple at the foot of the hills, whose 
summits pierced the clouds, levying from them in tribute the 
waters which filled the lake below. A mile or two on we left our 
conveyances and mounted the saddle, for we were now under 
Sgurr nan Conbhairean, the highest mountain in Glenmoriston, 
rising as it does 3634 feet above the level of the sea. Leaving 
our ponies after mounting some 2000 feet, we made the rest of 
our way on foot. Gradually the vegetation became scantier, more 
stinted and more Alpine in character, and at one point, where the 
biting wind blows with terrible force from the corries beyond, the 
vegetable world is represented by a solitary lichen. On we press 
upwards, now with a comparatively clear sky overhead, now 
through driving mist that envelopes us and the whole mountain 
top in impenetraole gloom. On we go through it all, trusting to 
Providence and our own good fortune that our journey will not be 
lost. And we are not disappointed. As we near the summit a 
wonderful panorama opens out before us. There in front rises 
Mam Soul, topping the mountains of Strathglass and Glen Affric. 
Away to the east and lying far below us is the summit of 
Mealfourvonie, while further on the summits of the Monadhliadh 
range loom through the haze. Far to the south-west we can just 
make out the summit of Ben Nevis as the mist rises for a minute 
or two at a time. To the west rise the sharp peaks of the 
Cuchullin Hills in Skye, and as we look round towards the North 
West we see far away the wonderful hills of Torridon, while nearer 
.at hand Cralich, Sgurr Ouran, and Ben Attow rear their lofty 
heads to the sky. All round is a forest of hill-tops. We stand on 
the top of a high mountain in a mountainous country, and the 
whole wonderful picture lies at our feet. We are not on the 
highest mountain in Scotland but there is no Scottish mountain 
from whose summit a more wonderful panorama can be seen. Stand- 
ing in the middle of the country, at the dividing of the waters and 



32 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

in the midst of mountains, it commands a view of mountain, loch, 
and valley, which probably no other mountain can surpass. After- 
indulging in a leaping competition, in which the Senior Bailie 
succeeded in distancing all competitors not merely among his city- 
bred companions, but among the gamekeepers and ghillies of the 
party and building a cairn on the mountain top to commemorate 
the visit of the elite of the magistracy of the Capital of the High- 
lands to the summit, and having an inscription cut into the hard 
whinstone by the versatile Senior Bailie, we move on indulging 
by the way in the luxury of a snow-ball fight in July, and then we 
stand on the shoulder of the ridge dividing Corriegoe from Glen 
Affric. Here the scenery is grand beyond description. On the 
left we look sheer down into Glen Affric, at the bottom of which 
the river Grivie is seen running like a silver streak for miles to 
fall into Loch Affric and ultimately into the Moray Firth, while 
on the opposite side of Glen Affric the red-s<;arred slope of the 
mountain rises without a break from the bottom of the valley for 
a thousand feet. On the right, more than a thousand feet below, lies 
Corriegoe, bounded by mountains, which, on two of their three faces, 
are sheer precipices. Beyond lies Glen Fada, with the river Doe 
running down its centre to join the Moriston at Ceanacroc. In 
front, too, rising out of Glen Fada, are those weird-looking red 
hills, the Ram and the Aonach Sasunn, forming of themselves 
features in the landscape which do not allow it to be easily for- 
gotten. 

PRINCE CHARLES AND THE SEVEN MEN OF GLENMORISTON. 

Now begins the descent into Corrigoe, lying a thousand feet 
below us. The mountain slopes steeply down on this side, present- 
ing a smooth-looking grassy surface, down which we make our way 
by a series of what would be less fittingly described as steps than 
short leaps. Arrived at the foot, a few yards walk brought us to 
the heap of tumbled rock forming the cave in which for a short 
time Prince Charles lay in hiding in July, 1746. At the foot of 
a perpendicular cliff lies this mass of rock, which ages ago 
separated itself from the cliff above, and, falling down, 
broke into huge fragments, which lying together form the 
rude walls and umbrella-like roof of a rough shelter a 
shelter often welcome enough in this storm-swept Corrie, 
which, even now, is many miles from a human habitation. To 
this shelter there resorted in 1746, after Culloden, and while 
Glenmoriston and the whole country round was occupied by 
Hanoverian troops, Patrick Grant, a farmer known as Black Peter 



A Modern Raid. 33 

of Craskie, John Maodonell, Alexander Mafdonell, Alexander, 
Donald, and Hugh Chisholm, brothers, and Grigor Macgregor, 
men honourably known in history as the "seven men of Glen- 
moriston." They had seen their homes burned, their friends 
murdered, and their property carried away, and they retired here 
to wait till the evil days had passed, and to lie in wait for their 
enemies, to whom they more than once dealt a blow. To these 
men came, on 28th July, 1746, their Prince in pitiable plight. 
He had just passed through a cordon of troops, drawn round the 
district where he was known to be after his return to the main- 
land from his wanderings in the Islands. He was weary with 
travel and exposure, and had not tasted food for forty-eight hours. 
His clothes, insufficient at their best to protect him from the 
rigours of the climate to which he was now exposed at all hours, 
were in rags. It was now three months after Culloden, and all 
that time Charles had been a fugitive with a price on his head. 
Constantly in the power of a people steeped in poverty, he never 
appears to have feared that the price of blood would tempt them 
to betray him, and, to the eternal honour of the Highland people, 
be it said, that they not only justified his confidence, but braved, 
nay courted, death, so as they might save this man, for whose 
betrayal a fortune was offered. Three months of wandering, and 
of almost incredible escapes, and Charles found himself near the 
hiding place of the Glenmoriston men. The story of their fidelity 
is told in history, and need not be here repeated. They took an 
oath that their backs "should be to God and their faces to the 
devil, that all the curses the Scriptures did pronounce might come 
upon them and all their posterity, if they did not stand firm to 
the Prince in tha greatest dangers, and if they should discover to 
any person, man, woman, or shild, that the Prince was in their 
keeping, till once his person should be out of danger." Charles 
said they were his first Privy Council since Culloden, and well 
they deserved the name, for so faithfully did they keep their oath 
that not one of them disclosed the fact that he had been with 
them till a year after he had sailed to France. For three days 
the cave in Corrigoe was the home of the Prince, and there, while 
his faithful friends mounted watch at their sentry posts at the 
head and foot of the Glen, and sent out foraging parties to fetch 
provisions, he obtained much-needed rest. After leaving Corrie- 
goe, the Gleamoriston men formed the Prince's bodyguard until 
they had conducted him safely through the lines of his enemies, 
and handed him over on 21st August, near Loch Arkaig, to Mac- 
donell of Loch Garry and Cameron of Clunes, faithful friends, who 
provided for his future safety 3 



34 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Leaving Corriegoe, a rough walk of several miles along the 
side of the hills on the right flank of Glen Fada, brought us to 
our ponies, which had been taken round some thirteen miles to 
meet us, and a ride of six or seven miles, followed by a drive of 
about the same distance, brought us late at night to the hospit- 
able roof of Mr Macpherson, where a substantial, though very late, 
dinner and a sound sleep awaited us. 

Our raid wound up with a peaceful day's fishing in Loch 
Clunie, and next morning a drive down the beautiful Glen, by 
Torgoyle, Dundreggan, and Invermoriston, to Loch-Ness, where 
we again joined the " Gondolier" for home. 

An interesting discussion followed, in the course of which Mr 
Colin Chisholm said, with reference to the Pibroch of Cille- 
chriost : The tradition he had heard from his boyhood between 
sixty and seventy years ago was that the party of Macdonalds 
crossed the river at Beauly, and it was when they looked behind, 
and saw their work of destruction going on, that the piper struck 
.p the pibroch. They were glad to keep quiet till they got out of 
the clutches of the Mackenzies, and it was when they were opposite 
Beauly, at " Bruthach-a-Phuirt " on the other side of the river, 
that the pibroch was played for the first time. When the piper 
saw what was going on, he made the pipes speak for him, and this 
is what they said : 

Chi mi thall-ud, 

An smud m6r ; 
Chi mi thall-ud, 

An smud mor ; 
Chi mi thall-ud, 

An smud m6r ; 
'S Cill-a-Chriosda 

Na lasair mh6ir. 

Smud a muigh 
Smud a stigh 
Smud a muigh 
Smud a stigh 
Smud a muigh 
Smud a stigh 
Smud mo dhunach 

An smud m6r 
Smud mor feadh a' bhaile 
Smud mor feadh a' bhaile 
Smud mor feadh a' bhaile 

Cill-a-chrosda na teine. 



The Dialect of the Reay Country. 35 



5th DECEMBER, 1888. 

jl| At the meeting held this evening, the following gentlemen 
were elected members of the Society : Honorary members Lieut. 
Colonel Gostwyck Gard, late 93rd Highlanders, Cul-an-eilan, 
Inverness ; Sir Charles Cameron, President of the College of 
Surgeons, Dublin ; and Mr Allan Cameron, 22 Elmwood Avenue, 
Belfast. Ordinary members Mr J. M. Grant of Glenmoriston ; 
Mr J. Henderson, factor for Rosehaugh, Fortrose ; Rev. John A. 
Campbell, Kilmore, Glen-Urquhart ; Mr F. A. Black, solicitor, 
Inverness ; Mr G. G. Macleod, teacher, Gledfield Public School, 
Ardgay ; and Rev. Geo. Sutherland, Beauly. Mr Alex. M'Bain, 
M.A., read a paper contributed by the Rev. Adam Gunn, Durness, 
on the " Dialects of Sutherland." Mr Gunn's paper was as 
follows : 

THE DIALECT OF THE REAY COUNTRY. 

The County of Sutherland is, in many respects, a suitable field 
for the study of dialect. Partly owing to its remoteness, and 
partly to the sterility of its soil, it would be difficult to find in 
any part of Scotland a district so little disturbed by external 
influences as the north-west of this county. This very district, 
too, furnishes the student with a bard of no mean order, in whose 
songs he may find specimens of the dialect of the people as it 
existed above a hundred years ago. Unfortunately, however, for 
philological purposes, a desire to conform to a southern dialect 
whose sole claim to form a standard consists in a mere priority in 
print led the editor of Rob Donn to tamper unnecessarily with 
his diction. The dialect, or, as some would put it, the provincial- 
ism of Rob Donn, was far too decided for this accommodating 
process ; and the result was a well-grounded complaint on the 
part of those whose interests the editor studied that the com- 
positions of the Sutherland bard are, like Hamlet's reason, " out 
of tune and harsh." On first hearing the accusation, I was not a 
little surprised, for I had heard his songs sung without ever being 
arrested by their metrical blemishes. A glance at the Rob Donn 
of Dr Mackintosh Mackay the only source to which critics had 
access soon convinced me that the complaint was not without 
good foundation. I open at random the last edition of his poems, 
published by Maclachlan & Stewart ; there, on page 29, the first 
two lines of the elegy on the Rev. Murdo Macdonald furnish an 
example : 



36 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

11 Se do bhas, Mhaighstir Murchadh, 
Rinn na h-aitean so dhorchadh." 

To a reader unacquainted with the dialect, the words in italics 
will not rhyme ; but the fault lies with the editor, for in the Reay 
country, Murchadh is pronounced Morchadh. Again, on the 
opposite page, we find the following : 

" 'S ami o mheadhon an fhoghair, 
Fhuair sinn rabhadh a dh' fh6ghnadh." 

Here foghair rhymes with rabhadh, and the rhyme is unimpeach- 
able ; only to make this apparent it should be written as it was. 



" 'S ann o mheadhon an fhaghair, 
Fhuair sinn raghaidh a dh' fhoghnadh." 

We need not enumerate instances ; on every page the efforts of 
the editor to make our bard speak grammatically, and to conform 
his vocables to what he calls "the allowed standard of Gaelic 
orthography," are only too apparent. He has succeeded in this, 
way in making his poems more intelligible to general readers ; but 
he secured this greater intelligibility at a high price. In one 
respect, it was fortunate that the labours of Rob Donn fell into 
the hands of so able and accomplished a countryman ; in another 
respect, this very accomplishment produced two evil results ; it 
deprived these poems of a great deal of rhythmical beauty, and,, 
what is more to be regretted for philological purposes, the 
vocalismus of the dialect has not been preserved. Without an 
acquaintance with the latter, little progress can be made in the 
study of dialect, and so in the work before us we expect little 
help from the pages of Rob Donn. 

There are two main dialects of Scottish Gaelic a northern and 
a southern. That which we propose tD examine belongs, of course, 
to the former. It so happens, however, that in the case of the 
test-sound, the Reay country proves an exception. The 
experimentum crucis between north and south is this a greater 
tendency to dipthongise the long e sound into la on the part of 
the former. Thus, southern beul becomes northern bial. 
Curiously enough, we have little partiality for this sound. We 
subjoin a list of words which shows how widely we have diverged, 
not only from the northern dialects as a whole, but also from that 
of Assyrit and the southern districts of the county. The only 
explanation that needs be made is that the small vowel inserted 
after the initial consonant in the third column is placed there to- 
preserve the sound of the consonant proceeding: 



The Dialect of the Reay Country. 37 

South. North. Reay Country. 

bcul bial beal 

sgeul sgial sgeal 

neul nial neal 

etc. etc. etc. 

In the great majority of cases we approximate the southern dialect. 
We place above the following list, English words to denote the 
precise sound of the vowel : 

South. North. Reay Country. 
fate cain 

breug briag breug 

feur fiar feur 

meud miad meud 

etc. etc. etc. 

The difference between the first and last column is so slight that 
it cannot be marked by a change of orthography ; still, it is 
palpable to the ear, and may be said to consist in this a 
tendency in the latter to approach the deeper a sound heard in 
cain. In the following words, the Reay country coincides with 
the southern dialect: dean, geug, meadhon, feuch, sgleut, reub, 
beuc. Only in two or three instances do we coincide with the 
northern dialect as diag, dad ('teen, 100). 

On the whole, then, we arrive at this conclusion, that the 
Reay country dialect, so far as the test-sound is concerned, should 
be ranked with the southern dialect ; and, whenever it shows a 
tendency to break away from the latter, it is always in the 
direction of the broad a sound. We have hardly a trace of the 
main characteristic of northern dialects the dipthongisation of 
long 6 into ia which Professor Rhys notices as the peculiarity of 
the northern, and which he ascribes to the possession of a more 
musical ear. That which marks us off from all others is 
unquestionably our partiality for the broad a sound. Not only 
have we turned e long into a broad, but in numberless cases 
we have changed southern o into a. Of course, one requires 
to exercise some caution here ; for many \vords appear in literature 
with an o which are never so pronounced by the people. Focal 
and cos are examples ; written with an o in deference to Irish 
orthography, but pronounced by the people, north and south, as 
facal cas. Scottish Gaelic as a whole differs from the Irish in its 
substitution of a for o ; and if this tendency has been carried any- 
where into excess it is in the Reay Country. Here are a few 
examples :- 



38 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

South. Reay Country. 

lorg larg foot-print 

foluich falaich hide 

storm starm storm 

orm arm on me 

solus salas light 

dorus daras door 

goil gail boil 

donas danas mischief 

los las inasmuch as 

etc. etc. etc. 

There are some half-a-dozen instances in which, with all our 
predilection for the ah-sound, we have refused the southern a : 

South. Reay Country. 

fait folt hair 

bainne boinne milk 

trasgadh trosgadh fasting 

gabh gobh take 

etc. etc. etc. 

Such instances of perverseness are, however, rare. 

The u-sound. The next favourite vowel-sound in the Reay 
Country is u. It is in great requisition, and does duty for various 
vowels and dipthongs. Thus, u for o Pol = dul, obair = ubair, 
domhail = dumhail, drola = drula, tobar = tubar, tombaca = tum- 
baca. U for adh In all participles, bualadh becomes bual-u. 

This is the shibboleth of Sutherlandshire : 

" U for amh deanamh = dean-u. 
,, ,, ibh fhearaibh = fhear-u." 

With all our partiality for this sound we pronounce the 
demonstrative sud as sid. 

Hitherto we have spoken as if there were only one dialect 
throughout the Reay Country ; in point of fact, however, one 
could easily form as many sub-dialects as there are townships. No 
doubt this arose from want of intercourse ; but now, with better 
roads, and means of transit, the reverse process is setting in. 
Still there is scarcely a village on the north coast which has not 
its own peculiarity in tone or diction. Portskerra is distant 
only three miles from Strathy ; yet the difference of accent is so 
marked that a total stranger can at once perceive it. The pecu- 
liarity of the inhabitants of the former township is a hiatus in the 
middle of every syllable thus rendering a monosyllabic sound 



The Dialect of the Reay Country. 39 

impossible. Besides, they have a shibboleth which is interesting 
in its way, and which they seldom or never get rid of. The 
demonstrative particle sin, that, is pronounced elsewhere in the 
Reay Country as shin, and rightly so ; but the people of Portskerra 
make it sin, without aspirating the s. The natives of Knapdale 
and Strathbran have the same peculiarity. Had they carried this 
peculiarity so far as to embrace so and sud there would have been 
some grounds for the orthographical variety represented by these 
particles. The reason why they have developed so singular a dia- 
lect is probably due to the fact that they are a fishing community, 
and intermarry to such an extent as to occasion a saying very 
common in the country " Inghean an tighe ud h-urad, posda ri 
gille an tighe ud stan." 

Proceeding westward along the north coast we find each village 
with its own shibboleth. Naver is characterised with the dip- 
thongal sound oi making the long o sound in coit (coracle), poit 
(pot) a very decided oi sound.. In Melness, again, the partiality for 
the broad ah sound so characteristic of the whole Reay Country is 
carried to its utmost limit. Such words as sin (that) and teine 
(fire) are pronounced shan t-chan. Coming to Durness we find a 
new characteristic that of eclipsis making its appearance. Air 
an leathad becomes air a' leathad. It is only when we reach 
Assynt that eclipsis proper is heard. Here mullach nam beann is 
mullach na meann ; an duine, an nuine pretty much as in Lewis. 
But the mention of such peculiarities would be an endless, as it 
would be a profitless task. Strathy and Strathy Head are 
separated only by a small stream ; yet the former makes mi-fhein 
mi-hian, and the latter mi-hain (cain). Indeed, this word is pro- 
nounced four ways within the county ; and if we embrace the 
whole Highlands we shall find the following variations mi-heun 
(literary), mi-keen, mi-hae, mi-hian, mi-hain, mi-hi. The same 
liberty has not been taken with the second personal pronoun ; it 
stands firmly thu-fhein north and south. Sibh-fein is pronounced 
in the Reay Country as shu-peun the latter limb being of 
respectable antiquity, being the form used in Macrae's MSS. (1688) 
in the religious poems of Mr Alex. Munro, catechist, Strathnaver. 

The word ceudna (same) presents a difficulty which is overcome 
differently by the north and south. The latter generally leaves 
the d altogether out of account ; we transpose the letters, and 
make it ciand. Now, reasoning inductively, one seems warranted 
in coming to the conclusion that chiand must eventually become 
chiann (as and became ann) ; yet the word appears as chijnd in 
Macrae's MS., showing that it was pronounced precisely as to-day 
over two hundred years ago. 



40 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

With regard to this transposition of letters, it is a distinctive 
feature of our dialect. Lomradh becomes lormadh, lomraich 
ior match. The combinations in which the transposition takes 
place are mr, nr, nd, Ir, Id ; assimilation is also very common ; 
beurla becomes beiila, Tearlach Tealach (Charles), or, as it is 
generally pronounced by us, Shdlus. It may help to bring out the 
distinguishing features of Reay Country pronunciation, if we go 
over the several consonants in order, referring, of course, only to 
those that call for comment. 

c 

With us it has none of the guttural sound heard in the 
southern Mac sac (machd sachd). We make it a &, pure and 
simple, and in this respect agree with the natives of Arran. 



This letter, before or after a small vowel, has the soft pro- 
nunciation./. Thus, Latin modi would, in a Celtic mouth, become 
moji. When the final syllable dropped oft, the effect of its 
presence, once upon a time, was felt in the soft d sound ; and to 
make this apparent to the eye it is spelled moid. Now, in the 
Reay country this soft sound is, in the great majority of cases, 
discarded. Guide ri is pronounced in the south as cujeri ; by us, 
in spite of the small vowel, it is pronounced cootheri. In the same 
way the interrogative particle de is pronounced by us hard ; and 
in this respect we happen to be correct, for de is a contraction for 
ciod e, where the d, flanked by a broad vowel, has the broad 
sound. This antipathy to the soft sound of d plays havoc among 
the remnant of our case endings ; we make no distinction between 
the sound of d in the nom. bard, and its gen. baird. 



In Gaelic philology this letter occasions considerable difficulty, 
because when aspirated it disappears altogether. But that which 
calls for mention here is the exceedingly large number of words 
which has taken on permanently the prosthetic / in our dialect : 

South. Reay Country. 

eagal feagal fear 

acain facain complain 

rabhadh fraghaidh warning 

aithii faithn coiomand 

easgann feasgann eel 

an eol duit am feol duit do you know ? 

oit foit 

etc. etc. etc. 



The Dialect of the Reay Country. 41 

Again, in another list of cases, we have refused an / where the 
southern dialects have it. 

Reay Country. South. 

aradh faradh ladder 

abhrad fabhrad eye-brow 

eadhainn feadhainn some 

etc. etc. etc. 

The reason of so much confusion in our dialects regarding this 
letter is obvious ; in the oblique cases, the f of the nominative 
disappears ; and in this way was in many cases discarded alto- 
gether in the nominative. By a mistaken analogy, it was placed 
at the beginning of some words where it had no right to be put. 

I 

When this letter is preceded or followed by a small vowel, we 
can distinguish without difficulty the aspirated and non-aspirated 
sound ; a teine, his shirt, is distinct from a leine, her shirt. But 
when it happens to be a broad vowel, there is no appreciable 
difference ; a laim/t, his hand, is pronounced exactly a laimh, her 
hand. 

When this letter is preceded by r assimilation takes place 
Beurla becomes Beula ; forladh, folladh, etc. 

m 

In the single mute north and south agree ; but, when aspirated, 
we vocalise it, while the south makes it equivalent to a v. 
Thus : 

Reay Country. Southern, 

amhainn a-u-inn avinii 

samhuinn sauinn savinn 

amhairc auirc, also auric avirc 

etc. etc. etc. 



Both north and south make this letter equivalent to r after c. 
Cnoc cnamh becomes croc cramh. We make it r in several other 
cases ainm = airm, and eanraich (soup) earraich by assimilation 

We make no distinction between the aspirated and rion- 
aspirated sound of this letter. There is, however, a distinct pecu- 
liarity in the slender and liquid sound we give it in duine (like the 
n of English new), as opposed to the southern doona. 

r 

We can distinguish between the aspirated and non-aspirated 
sounds. A rian jhein (his own method) is quite distinct from a 



42 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

rianfhein (her own method) in pronunciation. This is true also 
when v is succeeded by a broad vowel. 

Passing from consonantal sounds to grammatical forms, we 
come to the point where the study of dialect becomes most inte- 
resting : ibh of the dat. plural It is still heard, but attenuated 
into u. Ace. plural u is also the form for this case. Gen. plural 
A separate form for this case is fast disappearing. " Tha e 
tional na caoraich " is quite as common as " Tha e tional nan 
caorach." Gen. sing. We use this case sparingly, except in the 
case of irregular nouns. In pronunciation we do not distinguish 
between bard and baird, unless we speak with studied precision. 
Eardi was the prehistoric form of baird ; perhaps a trace of the 
old genitive form is heard in "culraonidh" (goalkeeper), which 
exists side by side with the regular genitive "raoin" to which it 
gave rise. 

The impersonal form of the verb (cognate with Latin videtur) is 
seen in su.-h expressions, " Bhathar a togail an tighe," which are 
common. 

Guttural stems are still preserved nathair, gen nathrach ; 
mathair gives gen. mathar, and also a guttural genitive in the 
phrase mac-mathrach (mother's son). Compare mater, matrix, 
matric-is. 

No less important than the above is the light cast by a care- 
ful study of dialect upon obsolete expressions. In the list of 
adverbs given in " Stewart's Grammar " a mhan (downwards) 
occurs, and in the foot-note he suggests it may come from an older 
form, am fan. Now it so happens that we use this latter form 
not as an adverb only, but also as an adjective the comparative 
degree of which occurs in the first stanza of Rob Bonn's elegy on 
Lord Reay ? 

"'S an rum as fhaine fo'n uir." 

This brings us to note the great number of words used in dia- 
lects which never get the length of print, and are not to be found 
in dictionaries. There are scores of such words in every district 
gradually falling into disuse. This is one of the reasons why our 
place-names are not more intelligible to us. If these terms 
were carefully collected it would be found useful to the 
student of topography, and to the comparative philologist alike. 
I subjoin a list of words which are seldom heard but in Suther- 
landshire, and some of them only in the Reay Country : 

Lopan A soft, muddy place. Enters into our topography, 
but the places are insignificant.. 



The Dialect of the Reay Country. 43 

Igh or i A small stream, with green banks ; a burn. This is 
the most common descriptive term in our place-names. 

Uar A water-fall ; also a heavy shower. The confluence of 
waters. An uar at Loch Strathy, where the two streams meet. 

Brullachan A shaking quagmire. Frequent in our place- 
names. 

Riasgan Green patches among the heather. 

Ridhean A flowing stream. Frequent in topography as 
Rian-ari-leothaid, Rian-a-bhoinne, etc. 

Rabhan The relics left by the tide, or after a river has 
fallen back. 

Coileach-teth The mirage seen on the mountain-tops on a hot 
sunny day. 

Trom-altan A cold. In south-east of the country called an 
enatan ; in the north-west, an trollaidh. 

Sgoiltean and sgealpan Names for seed-potatoes when cut. 

Mag A rig. In the parish of Farr, the term is iomar, 

Barradh Thatching with straw or bent. 

Tuthadh Thatching with divots. 

Baghan The churchyard. 

Punndaist The weaver's share. 

Molldair The miller's share. 

A' bhuaicneach Small-pox. 

An t-siatag Rheumatism. 

Bruthas Broth. 

Barr Cream. Jlarr-maistridh South fuarag. 

Cal-dialus Wild cabbage. Romag Meal and whisky. 

j?he name for cast-off clothes is reidhligean. This is from 
Latin, reliquiae; and though we don't use reidklic for a burying- 
ground, yet the fact that we have the word for remains of any 
kind, goes to prove that reidhlic is derived from relictum, and not 
from reidh and leac, as the dictionaries give it. 

Numerous examples might be given here of words that have 
gone out of use for general purposes, and preserved only in set 
phrases. The last limb of a compound word is an excellent 
preservative. Saidhe, so common in Perthshire for hay, has gone 
out of use with us ; yet, we have preserved it in feur-saidhe. 

The vituperative vocabulary is very rich, and a close examina- 
tion of the same brings curious things to light. "An aghaidh a 
bhonnan bana," " against his white soles," is, in the Reay 
country, equivalent to " very much against his will." This 
saying, no doubt, arose from the posture of the individual when 



44 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

carried to his long home. "Suanas ort," " cionnlas ort," 
"marbhaisg ort," all mean, more or less, the English "confound 
you." The first may be from suaimhneas, rest, in which case it 
has deteriorated ; or from suaineadh, wrapping. The second 
means the strings used in tying the fingers of the dead ; and 
the third contains marbh in the initial syllable. 

The absence of words in a dialect may occasionally be made 
to yield a positive result. Mai, for rent, is quite unknown in the 
eastern part of the Feay country ; our equivalent is rainnt, from 
English rent. This proves that the custom of paying rent is 
among us only of yesterday, and history corroborates this. Mai 
itself is likely of Norse origin, cognate with English mail in 
black-mail. 

A very striking feature of the dialect we are considering is the 
extent to which it is permeated with foreign material. From the 
isolated position of the Reay Country one might naturally expect 
to find the language here in its greatest purity. But such is not 
the case. Three distinct causes of this corruption may be men- 
tioned beginning with the most recent : 

1 . The economic changes of the last and early part of this cen- 
tury, whereby an influx of south country farmers and shepherds 
took place greatly to the deterioration of our speech. 

2. The disbanding of the Reay Fencibles after mixing with 
English-speaking peoples, at a much earlier dato. When we con- 
sider that almost every family in the Reay Country had one or 
more members in the army, we can form some idea of the influ- 
ence they would exert upon the language on the return home of 
great numbers of them. Such words as kisseag for pog, and simi- 
lar corruptions, may undoubtedly be traced back to these days. 

3. But the great disturbing influence was the Norse invasion, 
lasting from the 9th to the 12th century. Eully seventy per cent, 
of the foreign material in our dialect is due to the Norwegian, and 
not to the English stranger. To the Norse influence upon the 
dialect of the Reay Country, then, let us now 7 briefly turn. 

The influence of the Norse upon Scottish Gaelic as a whole is 
recognised on all hands, but nowhere thoroughly sifted. It is also 
admitted that it has left greater traces on the west and north 
coast dialects ; and it is usual to bring forward struth, strain, 
strath, etc., as instances. A thorough investigation, however, of 
the dialects of the north and western shores, should, we feel sure, 
yield more astonishing results than are hitherto dreamt of, and 
prove that we owe more to the hardy Norseman than we give him 



The Dialect of the Reay Country. 45- 

credit for. It is natural to suppose that Sutherland would early 
fall under the sway of these Norse invaders from its proximity to 
Orkney and Caithness ; indeed, the name itself is to be ascribed to- 
them -Sudr-land. The topographical record makes it abundantly 
manifest that the whole county was overrun by them ; and traces 
of their stay with us remain not only in our place-names, but also- 
in the living speech of the people. The most distinctive charac- 
teristic of the dialect of the Reay Country is the broad aA-souiid ; 
and just as the English-speaking parts of Scotland are indebted to 
the Scandinavian for their broad accent, so are the Celtic-speaking 
people of Sutherland. The Gaelic of Sutherlandshire in general, 
and of the Beay Country in particular, may be termed the Doric 
of Gaelic dialects, and this feature is due to the fact that we came 
more under Norse influence than our southern neighbours, and 
had not a standard of written Gaelic like the south-west of Argyll 
to counteract the foreign influence. 

But not only has the Norse invasion left its traces upon our 
vowel system, but we have in the Reay Country several examples 
of Norse words that are used to the present day in Iceland. Hero 
are some, which I observed in the notes of the Corpus Poeticum 
Boreale : 

(1) The name for a bull in the east of Iceland is tuddi ; when 
a Reay Coimtry herd has occasion to call this animal towards him 
his expression is tuadhi, tuadhi the usual changes being made, 
those of dipthongisation and aspiration. 

(2) The dairymaid's call in Iceland is kuskus, kuskus, kuskus 
(root seen in Scot, qu-ey) ; that of the Reay Country maid is like 
it, husgus, husgus, husgus. 

(3) The borrowing was not all on one side. They have taken 
from us caiman, and tarje, dove, and bull. 

(4) In driving away cattle, the Reay country herd makes use 
of a word which, phonetically spelled, would appear as tirrhi the 
voice resting on the r. The Norse " to drive " is trrrhi. 

These terms are mostly connected with agriculture. I need 
not enumerate the nautical terms (sgiob, seol, etc.) as they are 
common to North and South. 

From Norse times ^ e have inherited the following Jarl, turn, 
bale, deile, deilig (dealing), sgoil, ngilling, sgil, sgammal, slaucar (a 
slouching fellow), and many others, which are often supposed to 
be English corruptions. Indeed, it is more than likely that our 
susdan (1000), for which we are twitted by our southern neigh- 
bours, may claim an equally remote origin from Norse thusund.. 



46 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Preisgeadh may be from Irish pred-chim or Norse prestr, either of 
which alternative gives it the air of antiquity. If it was a 
corruption of English preach it should be preiseadh, for soft ch 
becomes in Gaelic s by rule. 

Again, our fish-names are nearly all of Norse origin. All along 
the north and east coast of Sutherland, the name for cod is cilig 
from keila, the gad us longus of the Norse Edda ; in Assynt it is 
trosg. Further examples are cnudan, geddag, lang, sgait, from 
Norse cnudr, gedda, langa, &c. It would seem that the east and 
north of Sutherland came to a much larger extent under Norse 
sway, chiefly because more fertile and accessible than the wilds of 
Assynt ; topography serves to confirm this, but we must leave Mr 
John Mackay, of Hereford, to say, from his examination of the 
topographical record, to what extent this is true. 



12th DECEMBER, 1888. 

At this meeting, Mr Otto Siepmann, the College, Inverness, 
was elected an ordinary member of the Society. Thereafter, the 
Secretary read a most inseresting paper, contributed by the Rev. 
J. M. Macgregor, Farr, entitled, "The Early History of the Clan 
Gregor," which was favourably received by the members present. 
Mr Macgregor does not wish his paper to be printed at present. 



19th DECEMBER, 1888. 

At this meeting, Mr J. R. Macphail, advocate, 13 South 
Charlotte Street, Edinburgh, and Mr John Macdonald, Hotel- 
keeper, Dalwhinnie, were elected ordinary members of the 
Society. Thereafter, Mr Alex. Macbain, M.A., read a paper con- 
tributed by the Rev. Mr Campbell, Tiree, entitled, "-Florin's 
Ransom." Mr Campbell's paper was as follows : 

FIONN'S RANSOM. 

In a dedicatory Gaelic letter to an Earl of Argyll in a Gaelic 
'book on prayer, published as early as 1567 by Carsewell, Bishop 
of Argyll, the Bishop complains that his countrymen were fonder 
of listening to idle tales about the Feinne, or heroes of the time of 
Fionn MacCumhail, than of taking any interest in " the Word of 
; God." On this subject the writer is indebted for his information 



Flonris Ransom. 47 

to a rare work, An Laoidhtadair Gaelic (the Gaelic Hymnal), 
published about the year 1836 by D. Kennedy, under the patron- 
age and recommendation of Rev. Dr Macleod of Campsie. The 
same continued to be the case until very recent times ; and a 
person who was about 70 years of age, a few years ago, in giving 
an account of old Highland habits to the writer, said that when, 
e.g., the people of a place assembled to build a boundary dyke, 
some one would observe that they should wait till so and so came, 
and when he appeared, as the day was good and long, one or other 
would remark that the new-comer might tell, before they began, 
some incident in the history of the Fian band. The whole party 
then sat round the story-teller, and listened to his marvellous 
account. By the time that he was done, the sun was drawing 
westward, and some one would then say " It was hardly worth 
while beginning that day, and that he might tell some other story 
suggested by the previous narrative." When the second story was 
finished the sun was well nigh setting, and the parties separated, 
after agreeing to meet next day, as nothing had been done that 
day. These were the good old, easy days, when the saying, 
" Hurry no man's cattle," held its ground, and people were not 
pressed to the same extent as now for the means of living. 

In what the writer has to say upon the subject of these heroic 
tales, he prefers to use the name Fionn MacCumhail, and the host 
of the Fians for Feachd na Feinne. The renderings of Fenian and 
Fingalian have other ideas attached to them ; and the writer's 
information and belief in the value of the tales, as historical or 
archaeological, is entirely founded upon them as they exist in 
popular tradition. It seems to him that in this way they are 
more free from the embellishments of idle fancy, and, in their own 
proper place, subservient to the elucidation of truth. 

These heroes are to this day prominent in proverbs and 
riddles ; and sayings and references to them and their actions 
occur continually in common every-day conversation, although the 
precise incident to which reference is made may not be known. It 
is in this way that people speak of Ossian after the Fians Ossian 
an deigh na Feinne, and in the riddle "Fionn went to the hill, and 
did not go ; he buried his wife there, and did not bury her" 
Chaidh Fionn do 'n bheinn, 's cha deachaidh idir ; thiodlaic e bhean 
<inn, 's cha do thiodhlaic idir, <fec. 

Very prominent among these stories are those referring to 
Fionn and his dog, Bran, which had a venomous or death-inflicting 
claw or spur on its foot; Fionn's visits to the Kingdom of Big Men; 
how Fionn got his wife ; the death of his nephew, Diarmid ; the 
wars in which he was engaged, <fec., <kc. 



48 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Fionn occupies, in Gaelic, the position of a model gentleman or 
nobleman, in the original and best sense of the words. He was 
not accounted the strongest of the Fian host, but was looked up 
to as ever a kind friend and judicious adviser ; wise in counsel, a 
solver of doubts and difficulties ; hospitable to the stranger and 
poor ; a protector of the weak and defenceless, and in every 
respect trustworthy. 

The tales of his having visited the Kingdom of Big Men, and 
of his having a long ship Long fhada aig Fwnnfuce told in 
various forms and in many different tales. One of these has 
already been made public, and is to be found in page 184 of the 
"Scottish Celtic Review," published November, 1882. 

In the tale here given, the reader's attention is first drawn to 
the " Little, thickset, insignificant man" Fear beag, iosal, 
lapanach. From another source, the writer has heard this descrip- 
tion of him : 

" An fear, beag, iosal lapanach, 

A chota lachduinn nan geur tang, 

A ghruag uchd an aird, 

'S a ghruag ard air uchd, 

A bholg saighdeadh le nimh, 

Gun cheire gun iteach air." 

" The little, low-set swaddler, 

His russet coat and sinewy muscles, 

The hair of his breast pointing upwards, 

The hair of his head reaching to his breast, 

His bag of arrows death-inflicting without wax or feathering." 

Lapanach does not mean that he was under-sized in the same 
way that children are, but that he was a full-gown individual, 
under-sized, and sinewy, or muscular. Perhaps this adjective, 
Lapanach, is the origin of the name Laplander the people of 
Lapland being of smaller height and lower stature than the 
average European. The Laplanders, although under-sized in point 
of height, are strong in muscle, and their appearance generally ia 
only that of people living in a very cold climate, and on fat and 
unctuous food. 

The word eang is, to the lexicographer, worthy of attention. 
It is not a word of common use, but it is well known in some 
poetic expressions. The boast of the young deer was that no- 
animal ever planted foot on hill-side that could catch it 

" Sleamhuinn 's as buidhe mo bhian, 
'S cha do chuir e eang air sliabh, 
Beathaich riabh a bheireadh orm." 



Fionrfs Ransom. 49 

" Slippery and yellow is my skin, 
And never planted foot on hill-side 
Any living beast that could catch me." 

Leum nan ceithir eang. The agile spring of four bounds 
denotes a standing leap, or one as high and as far as one is 
capable of. 

Gun ghligteadh nan eang. Without a spring in the muscles 
is said of a person entirely exhausted, so that he is unable to rattle 
his bones, or move a sinew or muscle, however strong these may 
have been. *S aotrom eang is said of a young person with a 
jaunty air. The little swaddler, who was despised by the other 
nobles as dwarfish, was received by Fionn MacCumhail, and his 
request was acceded to. Though his request at the time appeared 
trifling, it proved afterwards to be of great moment. Fionn, in 
this matter, appears true to his character as "The real old, 
country gentleman, all of the olden time." 

Elrig was a recompense, or the taking of the part of any one, 
or vindicating his character after death, and in this case it seems 
to denote the avenging or clearing and the making good the injury 
done to Fionn. It does not seem to convey the idea of vengeance, 
or the requital of loss or injury by a retaliation equally severe. 

It has been said to the writer that eang meant a mark in the 
oentre of the archer's bow, with another towards each end for the 
guidance of the archer's aim. In this case the eang of the bow 
may mean the whole twang of the bow, implying the whole 
strength of the weapon, both wood and string the Gaelic word 
eang, and the English twang, being, etymologically and onoma- 
topseia, the same word, and the whole derived from the sound or 
resonance arising when the arrow is launched. The trebly nimble 
or agile leap is one in which the whole powers of the man's body 
are exercised, and the muscles are brought into play like the string 
of the bow. 

There are many traditional tales in the Highlands of much 
interest, and referring to more modern times, in which little men 
of dwarfish and even pigmy-size figure as good bow-men, slav- 
ing men of large size and powerful make by their dexterity in the use 
of the bow and arrow. The reader will readily remember of " Little 
John" of Robin Hood fame, reputed in his time one of the most 
skilful archers of Sherwood Forest. 

Another indication of Lappish connection worth attention is 
that there was at one time in the Highlands of Scotland a lullaby 
for young children, in which the words occur, " On deer's milk I 



oO Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

was reared." Air bainne nam jiadh thogadh mi. The writer him- 
self has not been able to get the words of the lullaby ; but these 
lullabies, like the names of places, are very enduring in their 
existence, and perhaps can yet be fallen in with in other places, 
and among other people. The rescue of this and other lullabies 
and Gaelic antiquities in an available form would be a boon to the 
philologist and anthropologist. 

The quiet tackling of even the weakly with misfortune and 
formidable events, and the perseverance against impending 
calamities, denoted by these tales, are lessons from which every 
one can draw a moral for himself. 

In the dispersion of languages and primeval tribes, the names 
of places, and still surviving indications, are much to be looked to; 
and, before parting with the subject, it may be permissable to 
point out that the word already mentioned (eang), being connected 
with the English "twang" from the resonance of the weapon, may 
also have its analogy and relatives in the Kangarroo and 
Boomerang of the native Australian, the first of these words, in 
name and meaning, being very like eang a ruidh the hopping 
or agile leaping of the animal taking the place of what in other 
animals is running, and the other deriving its name fro'ni the 
sound of the weapon when thrown over the head into the air. 

The names of places in the rigorous climate of the north are 
not very easily comeatable, most of them being made known to- 
us through alien tongues. Kamschatka cannot but arrest atten- 
tion from the beginning of the word resembling so much the camus 
or indentation of the sea into the land, which is so common in 
names of undoubted Gaelic origin, like Cambuskenneth, Camus- 
dionbhaig, in Skye, <kc., &c. It is also noticeable from the 
differentiating noun or locality preceding the adjective or other 
adjunct by which the locality or place name is denoted, as well as 
from its common occurrence in the names of places. It is observ- 
able that in Gaelic the differentiating noun always precedes, and 
never follows, the place name, as it always does in English. The 
person acquainted with both languages can in this respect compare 
Newton and Baile-nodha. Baile is, in Gaelic, at the beginning of 
the place name, but in English at the end. 

The tale as here given was told last spring by John Brown, 
Kilmoluag, and was written out from very full notes taken at the 
time. The object of the writer has always been, in all matters 
affecting Celtic antiquities, to make whatever he deems worthy of 
preservation, as available and reliable to the reader as to himself, 
without addition, suppression, or embellishment. In the tale, the 



Fionrfs Ransom. 51 

word swaddler has been adopted as a fair translation of Lapanack, 
as the idea conveyed is that of a little, insignificant-looking and, 
at the same time, a sturdy, strong, active individual, though in 
appearance not lithe or athletic, or, as it has otherwise been 
explained to the writer, moganach laidir. 

MANSE OF TIBEE, 29th September, 1888. 



EIRIG FHINN. 

Aon uair chaidh Fionn 's a thriuir cho-dhaltan, an Ridire 
Dearg, Ridire Chuirn, 's Ridire Chlaidheamh, do'n bheinn sheilg 's 
shuidh iad air cnocan boidheach breac, ghabhail seallaidh, ari 
fasgaidh iia gaoithe, 's fa comhair na greine, far an faiceadh iad 
fhein h-uile duine 's nach fhaiceadh duine iad fhein. Mar bha 
iad tacain na 'n suidhe an sin, thuirt Ridire Chlaidheamh, >a Saoil 
mi an do choisich e talamh na '11 d' imich e an t-athar, fear aig 
an robh chridhe tair no tarcuis dheanamh air Fionn Mac Cumhail 
's a thriuir cho-dhaltan comhladh ris." Mu'n gann a so bha facal 
air radhainn, chunuaic iad dubhradh froiseadh tighinn as an aird 
'n iar-thuath, as an d'thainig fuaim siubhail seachad \s marcuiche 
steud dhuibh. Rinn e direach far an robh Fionn, 's bhuail e niun 
bheul e, 's chur e tri fiaclan as gu h-ard 's gu h-iosal. Dh'eirich 
Ridire Chlaidheamh sin, 's thuirt e gun deanamh an talamh lag na 
bhoim 's an t-adhar nead na chean 's nach bu cheum tilleadh dha, 
"Gus am faigh mi Eirig Fhinn." Thubhairt an da cho-dha'ta 
eile, an t-aon ceudna. Ghabh iad sin sios gu cladach 's thoiseach 
iad air uidheamachadh luing air sou falbh. Cha robh iad fada aig 
an obair so nar chummic iad Fear Beag losal Lapanach a 
teannamh air an aite 'san robh iad. Dh' fhailtich iad e ; 's dh' 
fharraid esan sin do Ridire Chlaidheamh faigheadh e cead na 
comas falbh leo air an luing. Fhreagair Ridire Chlaidheamh, 

"Cha'n fhaigh ; de feum dheanamh duine leibideach coltach 
riutsa dh' fhalbh leinne le luing." 

Dh' fharraid e sin do Ridire Chuirn, an robh doibh aice-san 
air gu'in faigheadh e dol leo air an turus, ach thubhairt Ridire 
Chuirn, nach robh feum aca air duine mi-choltach mar bha esan 
air luing. 

Chur e sin cheist cheudna ris an Ridire Dhearg, 's fhreagair 
esan, gu'in bu mhi-iomchaidh leithid sin do cheist a chur airsan. 

"Co bhiodh co dana 's gu'n d' thoireadh iad ablach do 
chreatair lachdunn, leibideach coltach riutsa leo air luing gu 
cuan ?" 



52 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Dh' fhalbh e so gu Fioim, 's dh' innis e dha gu'n do dhiult iad 
sid uile e, 's dh' fharraid e dheth an leigeadh esan comhladh ris e. 

"Leigidh," orsa Fionn, " 's fhearr thu na clach co-dhiu." 

Chuir iad mach an long. Thug iad toiseach ri muir 's deircadh 
ri tir; thog iad na siuil bhreachdadh bhaidealach an aghaidh 
na'n crannaibh fada, fulangach fiutha le soirbheas, beag laghach 
ciuin bheireadh duileach far craoibh, seileach far beinn, 's fraoch 
6g as bhun 's as fhreumaicheaii cur na fairge fiolcanich falcanaich 
an leathair fhinn, 's an leathar fhaisg, 's an f haochaig bheag chrom 
chiar bha seachd bliadhna air an aigeal tort chnig chnag air beul 
mor, 'sad air a h-urlair. 'S e bu cheol 's bu chauraii doibh, 
sgiamhul easgan, screadail fhiaclan, a bheist bu motha a g-ithe na 
beisd bu lughadh 's a bheisd bu lughadh deanamh mar a dh' 
fheudaidh i. Ghearra i an coinlean coirce aig a ro-thoiseach le 
feabhas a stiuirimiche, 's dheanadh Fionn Mac Cumhail iuil na 
toiseach, stiuir na deireadh, 's beirt na buillsgein, 's shuidhich iad a 
coursa air Rioghachd na Fear Mora. 

Mar bha iad da latha aig seoladh dh'iarr Fionn air Ridire 
Chlaidheamh sealltuinn o'n chrann am faiceadh e fearann. Chaidh 
Ridire Chlaidheamh so astar beag suas, 's thill e nuas 's thuirt e 
nach robh roinn no earrainn ri f haicinn. Dh' iarr Fionn so air 
Ridire Chuirn dol dh' fheuchain am faigheadh esan sealladh air 
fearann, 's chaidh esan suas astar goiread 'sa chrann, 's thill e nuas 
's thuirt e nach robh sgathadh do thalamh na do thuar 's an 
f hradhrac. Dh' iarr an so Fionn air an Ridire Dhearg sealltuinn 
uathaidh am faiceadh e fearann, 's cha deachaidh esan suas ach 
gleidh bheag astair 'sa chrann dar a thearrain e, 's thuirt e nach 
robh fearann no fonn ri fhaicinn, 's nach robh 'san t-sealladh ach 
mur 's athar. Dh' eirich so an Fear Beag losal Lapanach, 's thuirt 
e riutha, " Mur deanamh sibh na b'fhearr na sid bha e cheart co 
math dhiubh fuireach far an robh sibh," 's leum e 's rainig e barr a 
chroinn ; 's mar thill e air ais thuirt e ri Fionn, " Tha e mor a 
dh'fheannag 's beag dh' fhearann, ach cum romhad mar tha thu." 

An latha 'r na mhaireach bha iad 'sa chaladh an Rioghachd 
nam Fear Mora. 

Nar rainig iad an acairsaid cha 'n fhaigheadh iad air tir. Bha 
tri Gathan Teinnteach cuairteachadh a chaladh. 

Sin chuir J n Fear Beag losal Lapanach, Sgiath bhucaideach, 
bhacaideach air a laimh chli 's air a laimh dheis, 's thug e leum nan 
tri eang as is bha e air tir. Mar f huair e f hein gu tir thug e Fionn 
'sa thri co-dhaltan ann cuideachd. Ghabh iad sin gu siubhal an 
eilean na 'n ceathrar. Mar bha iad dol roimhe thachair riutha 
boirionach mor, 's measan, donn, buileagannta aig a sail, 's h-uile 



Fionn's Ransom, 53 

h-uair shealladh a measan air Fionn bhiodh na ficalan dol ann mur 
bba iad riabh, 's mur thionndaibh a measan a cbulthaobb bba na 
fiaclan falbb a Fionn. Shaoil an so na co-dhaltan aig Fionn gun 
robh eirig Fliinn aca, agus ghoid lad leo an Te Mh6r 's a measan 
da'n luing, 's dh' fliag iad an Fear Beag losal Lapanach 's an eilean. 

Bba esan sitibbal 's a sior iomacbd roimhe 's an dorchadh na 
h-oidbche chunnaic e bothau beag 's solus ann. Chaidh e stigh 's 
bba teinne mor ann an sin acb cha robb duine roimhe. Cha 
robh e bheag sam bi d' dh'uineadh feitheamh, 's ag eisdeachd nar 
thainig Duine Mor dhachaidh, 's thuirt e 

' "Gu de naigheachd an Fhir Bhig, iosail, lapanaich ?" 

Thuirt esan " Nach robh naigheachd sam bith ma*- fhaigh- 
eadh e aig an Fhear Mh6r thainig stigh i." 

" Cha 'n eil mo naigheachd fhein ach bochd," ors' an Fear Mor. 
" Tha mo phiuthar aluinn a nigheadh mi 's bhallan ionlaid nar 
thiginn dhachaidh o chur a chath, 's a bhithinn co-sunndach an 
latha J r ? n mhaireach dhol chur chath 's chomhraig 's bha mi riabh, 
air toirt air falbh 's i air chall 's air seachran orm." 

" Mur deanamh i ach sin dhuit," ars' Fear Beag losal Lapanach, 
" ma dh' fheudaibh gun dean mi fhein e," 's ghabh e sios 's nith e 
'sa bhallan ionlaid e, 's cha robh fear ud riabh na b' aoibheanaiche 
na bha e sin. 

Thainig nis brathair eile dhachaidh, 's thuirt e nar bha e 
stigh, " De naigheachd an Fhir Bhig, iosal, lapanaich?" 

" Cha 'n eil bheag no mhor do naigheachd agamsa," ors' Fear 
Beag losal Lapanach, " mur faigh mi uat fhein i." 

" Cha 'n eil fath mo naigheachd-sa ach trom," ors' fear so. Mu 
phiuthar ghradhach a nigheadh mi 's a bhallan ionlaid, 's an 
fheasgair an deighinn a chath, 's bhithinn an latha 'r na mhaireach 
co math 's a bha mi riabh, air a toirt air falbh, 's a measan donn, 
builgeanta, aig a sail." 

"Mur deanamh i ach sin," ors' Fear Beag losal Lapanach, 
" feudaidh mise aimeas air;" 's chur e 'm brathair mor so 'sa 
bhallan ionlaid 's nith ghlan e e, 's an latha 'r 'n mhaireach bha e 
cheart co ur dhol an chath 'sa bha e riabh. 

Thainig an ath-fhear dhiu sin rithist dhachaidh, 's thuirt e 
cheart seanachas thuirt a bhrathran. " De sgeul an Fhir Bhig 
Iosail Lapanaich ?" 

"Cha 'n eil innse sgeoil 'sam bith agamsa," ors' esan, "nach eil 
na 's fhearr ag an fhear mh6r laidir thainig dhachaidh." 

" Cha 'n eil mo chuid sgeoil-sa ach truagh," thuirt esan. " Tha 
mo phiuthar cheutach a nitheadh mi 's a bhallan ionlaid dar 
thillinn o chur a chath, 's bhithinn an la'rna mhaireach na b'fhearr 



54 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

na cha mi riabh gu dol air m' ais achath 's achomhrag, air a toirt 
air falbh 's bidh mi iiis gun chli gun chomhairle." 

' Mur deanadh i acli sin duit feudaidh mi fhein feuchain ris," 
ors' Fear Beag losal Lapanach, 's thug e do chcann eile an taighe 
e, 's nith 's ghlan e 's a bhallan ionlad e 's an la 'r na mhaireach, 
bha e na bu deiseadh na bha e riabh roimhe air son cath 's 
comhrag cliumail. 

An sin thuirt am Fear Beag losal Lapanach " An leig sibh 
mise chur a chath nochd air nrson ?" 

Thuirt fear do na braithrean ris " Dhuine t.hruaigh ! de tha 
thusa dol dheanamh ami leat fhein dar tha iad cumail rinne nar 
triu ir ?" 

" Ach nacli innis sibh dhomh gu de na bheil tighinn chur 
dragh oirbh V ors' Fear Beag. 

Fhreagair sin fear dhiu gun robh reisimead shaighdearan 
tighinn, 's ged chuireadh e an ceann far h-uile h-aon diu, gun robh 
cailleach mhor thigeadh as a dheighinn 's stopan ath-b'icothaiche 
aice, 's nar chuireadh i rneur as an stopan ath-bheothaiche na'm 
beul gu'n eireadh h-uile aon diu beo. 

" An dig ach sin ?" ors' esan. 

"Thig," ors' an ath-fhearr, "reiseamaid eile, 's cruitearan ciuil 
air an ceann, 's cuireadh iad sin ad chadal thu." 

"An dig ach sin ?" ors' esan. 

" Thig," ors' fear eile dhiu, " Bodach Mor Uamhanta 
Gabhanda, a leagas tu 'sa bheir uat do bheatha, mur cum thu cath 
oidhche ris ; 's Cailleach Mhor 's mu gheibh i diu dhuit marbhaidh 
h-anail thu." 

" An dig ach sin V ors esan. 

Thuirt iadsan nach digeadh, 's fhuair e cead falbh an oidhche 
sin thun a bhatail. 

Nur rainig e chui^naic e cheud reiseamaid tighinn 's chaidh e 
falach, gus an deachaidh iad seachad 's thainig e air an culthaobh 
s marbh e h-uile h-aon riabh dhiu. Chunnaic e nis Cailleach 
Mhor, thar tomhais a meudachd, tighinn stopan ath-bheothaiche 
na laimh, 's mar chunnaic esan i tighinn leig e fhein na shineadh 
J s an stivath 'san robh na daoine marbh. Chur ise corag as an 
stopaii ath-bheothaiche an am beul an fhir bha laimh ris 's leum 
e beo. Chur i na bheul-san an ath-h-uair i 's thug e dhith a 
chorag o'n ruidean. Ghlaoidh ise, " Gum bu tu fear mu dh'eireadh 
do shliochd do mhathar dh'eireagheas dq na bheil na 'n laidheadh 
sin." 

" Cha mhi ach 's mi an daraa fear dh'eireas," 's dh'eirich e 'a 
thilg e na 311111 dhiu le cheile, agus cha robh e sin ach nine ghoirid 



Fionn's Ransom. 55 

an deighinn am blar sin chur seachad dar chual e na cruitearan 
ceolmhor sin tighinn, 's an ath-reiseamaid casa air. Bha e air 
chlaoidh thairis 's e tuiteam na chadal 's ga chumail fhein na 
aireacha, chaireach e ceann a chlaidheamh ri uchdan a choiseadh, 's 
bharr ri mhalaidh 's h-uile cnotach cadail bha tighinn air, bha an 
claidheamh ga chumail na dhuisgeadh 's mar thainig bhuidhean 
shaighdearan fa^asg dha, gliabh e air an culthaobh 's mharbh e 
uile iad. Smaontich e so nach biodh am Bodach Mor ro fhada 
gun tighinn, agus thoisich e air deanamh toll farsuinn domhain 
anus an talamh 's gu chur thairis le fiodh, 's le feur, 's le conaich. 
Dar bha e gu bhi curnaichte, an croma-ciar 's an rath-dorcha an 
fheasgair thainig am Bodach Uamanda Ghabhanda mi-chuim- 
seach mi-choimeasach ad 's thoiseach e fhein 's Fear Beag losal 
Lapanach air cur a chath. Theann iad ri cheil gu garbh, gabh- 
aidh, 's am 's an ruith dhluthaich iad air an fhosgladh bha 'san 
lar 's chaidh am Fear Mor ann, 's thuair esan cothrom air a cheann 
thoirt dheth. 

Beagan nine an deighinn so thainig a chailleach bu mhotha 's 
bu mh6r. Nar bha i gu bhiodh lamh ris, bha h-anail ga lagachadh 
dh' fheuch e co math 's b' urrainn dha cumail uaithe, 's bha iad 
cltiich chathadh chuid bu mhotha do 'n oidhche. Ann an briseadh 
soillearachd an latha, nar dhuisg fear do na brathrean thuirt e ris 
fhein " Feumaidh mis eireadh, tha mi cinnteach gu bheil a fear 
chaidh chur chath air mo shon marbh o chion fhadadh." Thuirt 
fear eile " Cha 'ne sin 's duileadh dhuit, ach gum bi do riogh- 
achd air a sgrios." Ach thuirt an treasa brathair riu uile " 'S 
fhearr dhuin dol far a bheil iad cur a chath." 'Sa mach ghabh 
iad 's thug iad orra far an robh iad a cluich bhatailibh. Air 
dhoibh ruigheachd fhuair iad a Chailleach Mh6r 's Fear Beag 
losal Lapanach air toirt thairis taobh air taobh. 

Thuirt fear do na braithrean " ! nach d'thoir thu dhomh an 
claidheamh feuch an cur mi an ceann far na beiste." 

" Fo'n rinn mi fhein an troidh, ni mi an t-orlaich," ors' Fear 
Beag losal Lapanach, " ach cur thusa do mheur ann san stopan 
ath-bheothaiche ad thall as cur am bheulsa sin i." 

Rinn e so 's dar fhuair Fear Beag losal Lapanach, so ghluais e 
's eguab e 'n ceann bhar na caillich, 's bha i marbh ! 

Thog na fir mhora leo dhachaidh e sin air an guaillean. Bha 
iad fuireach comhladh. 

Aon latha chaidh Fear Beag losal Lapanach mach air chuairt 
feadh a mhonaidh, 's chunnaic e dubharadh froiseadh tighinn as 
an Aird-'n-iar-thuath, as an d'thainig marcaiche steud dhuibh, 's 
thug e garbh ionnsuidh air an Fhear Bheag losal Lapanach, ach 



56 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

tharruinn esan a chlaidheamh, 's chur e 'n ceann do mharcaiche na 
steud dhuibh. Nar fhuair e marbh e, dh' fheuch e sin gu de na 
fiachan bha e giulan. Nar rannsaich e cha do thachair ris ach da 
chir, sporan seang sioda 's sia fiaclan Fhinn 'ic Cumhail ann. 
Thill e dhachaidh sid aice. 

Dh' fharraid Fear do na Braithrean, " De chunnaic e 'n diugh 
air a chuairt 1" 

Thuirt esan Nach fhaca ni sam bi thug toilleachadh dha, 
acb dubhradh froise as an Airde-'n-iar-thuath as ' an d'thainig 
marcaiche steud dhuibh. " 'S dh ? fheuch e ris a cheann thoirt 
fharamsadh, ach tharruinn mise mu chlaidheamh as sgar mi dh' 
esan an ceann," ors' Fear Beag losal Lapanach. 

" De fhuair thu na luib ?" ors' iadsan. 

" Cha d' uair ach da chir, 's sporan seang sioda, anns an 
robh sia fiaclan," ors' esan. 

" Och, och ! " ors' am brathair mor, " cha d' rinn thu do mhath 
riabh dhuinn, nach d' rinn thu do chron an diu ; dar mharbh thu 
aon bhrathair ar n-athar, bha cur cuairt uair 'sa bhliadhna air uile 
Rioghachdan an Domhain dam hair, 'sa thigeadh thoirt dhuinne 
eachdraidh air gach ni mar bha dol." 

'S e thuirt an Fear Beag losal Lapanach ruithe sin " Mar 'eil 
an guiomh rinn mi taitneach leibh, ni mi cheart chleas oirbh 
fhein." 

Sin thuirt fear eile do na braithrean " 'S fhadadh fon tha e 
J san dailgneachd gur e fear thigeadh thogal Eirig Fhinn 'ic 
Cumhail bheireadh saorsadh dhuinne as gach cath as comhrag." 

Thuirt am Fear Beag losal Lapanach gun robh e smaointeach- 
adh air falbh nis bho 'n fhuair e Eirig Fhinn. Mu choinneamh sin 
thuirt na braithrean ris, gum faigheadh e uapadh-san steud dubh a 
mharcaicheadh an cuan glas mar machaire geal sgiamhach. " 'S 
bheir thu ar naigheachd-ne do 'r piuthair, 's bitheadh i agad fhein 
na mnaoi phosdadh." 

Thug esan 's an steud an aghaidh air an Fheinn, 's am bial an 
athadh 's an fheasgair bha e le Fionn Mac Cumhail, dh' fharraid 
dheth fhein 's do cho-dhaltan an d'uar iad an eirig. 'S fhreagair iad- 
san, " Nach d' uair." Thug esan mach an sporan seang siodadh 's 
na sia fiaclan ann, 's thuirt e ri Fionn " Tha t-e"irig an sin, 's cha 
d' rinn do cho-dhaltan fhaighinn dhuit." 



FIONN'S RANSOM. 

Once upon a time Fionn and his three foster-brothers, the 
Red Knight, the Knight of the Cairn, and the Knight of the 
Sword went to the hunting hill. They sat down, to look around 



Fionn's Ransom. 57 

them, on a sunny, rocky, eminence sheltered from the wind, and 
in the sun's warmth, where they could see everyone, and no one 
could see them. When they were seated there sometime, the 
Knight of the Sword said, " Is it possible for me to think that 
anyone has walked on earth or traversed the air, who could 
despise or look down upon Fionn Maccumhail when his three foster- 
brothers are near him ?" The words were hardly uttered when 
they observed the darkening and heard the sound of the approach 
and passing of a shower from the north-west, out of which came a 
rider on a black steed. He came straight where Fionn was, and 
struck him on the mouth, knocking out three upper and three lower 
teeth. Then the Knight of the Sword stood and said, that the 
earth would make a hollow in the sole of his foot, and the sky a 
nest in the crown of his head, before his footsteps would return, 
' Until I avenge Fionn's injury." The other foster-brothers said 
the same.^ They then went down to the shore, and began to fit 
out a ship to go away in. They were not long engaged in this 
work when they saw a little, low-set, insignificant looking man ap- 
proaching the place where they were. They addressed him, and in 
reply, he asked the Knight of the Sword for permission to 
accompany them on the ship. The Knight of the Sword 
answered, " No ; of what use would a trifling little man like you 
be to us for going in a ship?" He then made a request of the 
Knight of the Cairn, if there was any way by which he would be 
allowed to go with them on their travels, but the Knight of the 
Cairn replied that they had no need of such an unlikely person as 
he was in a ship. He then in the same way asked the Red 
Knight, who said that it was improper of him to put such a ques- 
tion ; "Who could have the audacity to take an insignificant 
looking creature of mean, russety appearance, such as you are, 
in a ship to sea ?" He now went where Fionn was and told him 
that the others had all refused him, and asked him if he would 
allow him to accompany him. 

" I give you permission," said Fionn, "you are of more value 
than a stone anyhow." 

They then launched the ship. They turned the prow sea- 
ward and the stern to land, and raised the speckled towering sails- 
against the tall, tough, strong masts, with a slight, soft gentle 
breeze, that would strip leaves from trees, willow from hill, and 
young heather from its rootlets and grasp, lashing the sea wildly 
into waves and foam in the seething expanse far and near, while 
the little crooked, swarthy whelk that was seven years at the 
bottom of the sea gave a creaking sound on the gunwale and a 



58 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

thump on the bottom of the boat. Their murmuring music and 
lasting sound of grumbling were the chiming of eels, the gnashing 
of teeth, the biggest beast devouring the (smaller beast, and the 
little beast doing as best it could. The ship could cut a grain of 
oats with the edge of her prow from the excellence of her steering, 
and Fionn Maccumhuil was guide at the prow, helm in the stern, 
and tackle in the centre, and they directed her course for the 
Kingdom of Big Men. When they had been two days sailing, 
Fionn desired the Knight of the Sword to look from the mast 
whether he could see land. He went a short distance up the 
mast, returned, and said there was no part or portion of land 
visible. Then Fionn asked the Knight of the Cairn to try if he 
could discern land. He went a short distance up the mast and 
came down and said that there was no trace or appearance of land 
in sight. Fionn now asked the Red Knight to look closely from 
him whether he could get a view of land. The Red Knight only 
climbed up the mast a short way when he returned, saying- that 
there was neither land nor earth to be seen, nothing but sea and 
sky. Then the little insignificant man stood and said to them, 
41 If you could not acquit yourselves better than that you might as 
well have remained where you were," and he gave a bound and 
reached the top of the mast. When he came down he said to 
Fionn, " It is too large to be a hooded crow and too small to be 
land, but keep the course you are on." Next day they were in 
harbour in the Kingdom of Big Men. 

When they reached the anchoring ground they could not get 
to land. There were three fiery darts gleaming all round 
the harbour. Then the little, low-set, waddling man put 
a hollow-shaped, resisting shield on his right hand and 
on his left, gave the standing (or magic) leap of three 
bounds, and reached land. After that he took Fionn and 
his three foster-brothers safely on shore with him. They, 
four, then began to walk abroad through the island. On their 
way they met a tall woman with a brown, fat, little Lap dog at 
her heels, and every time the Lap dog looked at Fionn his lost 
teeth were in their place in his mouth as they should be, but 
when the Lap dog turned from him the teeth dropped out. 

The foster-brothers now thought they had found Fionn's 
ransom, and they carried off with them the tall woman and the 
Lap dog to the ship, and left the little low-set swaddler alone on 
the island. He was travelling, and ever moving right on before him. 
In the dusk of the evening he saw a small dwelling-house, with a 
light in it, by the roadside. He entered, and found a large fire 



Fionrfs Ransom. 59 

burning, but there was no one before him ; however, he was not 
long waiting and listening when a tall man returned home and 
said, " What news has the little low-set swaddler V He replied 
that he had no news unless he got any from the tall man who had 
come home. "My news are but sorrowful," said the tall man, 
" for my beautiful sister who used to put me in the bath when I 
returned home from fighting the battle, and made me as cheerful 
as ever to go to battle and combat the next day, has been taken 
away, and is lost and astray from me." 

" If that was all she could do," said the little low-set swaddler, 
"perhaps I may do it myself;" and he took him and washed him 
in the washing bath, so that he never felt more refreshed or 
joyful. 

Another brother now returned home, and said when he entered 
the house, " What news has the little low-set swaddler ?" 

" I have neither little nor much of any news," said he, " unless 
I may get wome from yourself." 

" The burden of my news is but sad," this brother said, " for 
my beloved sister, who put me in the washing bath at eve after 
the battle, so that nexc day I was as well as ever, has been taken 
away, with the little, brown, fat Lap dog that followed at her 
heef." 

" If she could only do that," said he, " 1 may myself be able to 
do it." And he put this tall brother in the bath and washed and 
cleaned him, so that he was as fresh as he ever was next day to go 
to fight. 

Another tall brother came home soon after, and said the self- 
same words with the others, "What news has the little low-set 
swaddler T' 

" I have no manner of tale to tell," he replied, " but what the 
big, strong man who came in has better." 

" My share of the story is but poor," said the third brother ; 
"for my handsome sister, who bathed me on my return from 
battle, and next day I was better than ever to go to combat, has 
been taken away, and I shall be now without strength or counsel." 

" If that is all," said the swaddler, " I may try to do it myself," 
and he took him to the farthest off part of the house and washed 
and bathed him so that next day he was better prepared than ever 
to engage in battle and combat. 

The little swaddler then said, " Will you allow me to go to the 
battle to-night in your place ?'" 

One of the brothers replied to him, " Miserable being, what 
could you do there alone when they keep three of us fighting T 



60 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

11 But will you not tell me how many are coming to trouble 
you V said tliQ little man. 

Another of the brothers then answered, that there was a regi- 
ment of soldiers, and although he beheaded every one of them a 
tall old woman came after him with a life-restoring stoup in her 
hand, and when she dipped her finger in the life-restoring stoup 
and put it in the mouths of the men every one of them sprang up 
alive. 

" Will any others come T asked the swaddler. 

" There will come then," resumed the next of the brothers, 
" another regiment of soldiers with musical harpers at their head, 
and they will set you to sleep." 

" Will none other than these come ?" said he. 

" Then will come," said the third brother, " a tall old man of 
terrific and gruesome appearance, who will take your life unless 
you can keep combatting him all night. After him, a tall old 
woman will come, and if you let her get near you her breath will 
kill you." 

The swaddler then asked if any others would come. 

The brothers told him that none else would come. 

He obtained permission to go away that night to the battle. 
When he reached he saw the first regiment approaching and he 
hid himself until they had passed ; he then came up behind and 
killed every one of them. He now saw a great enormous old 
woman coming with a life-restoring stoup in her hand. When he 
saw that she was near he laid hitoself down in the row among the 
dead men. She put her finger out of the life-restoring stoup in 
the mouth of the man nearest to him, and he started up alive. 
She then put her finger in his mouth, and he took it off from the 
knuckles. She cried out, 

"Of all those lying there may you be the last man of your 
mother's race to rise." 

" No, but I shall be the second man to rise," and he rose up 
and threw off both of their heads together. 

He was there but a short time after he got that battle over 
when he heard the musical harpers drawing near and the next 
regiment hurrying towards him. He was overcome with fatigue 
and was dropping asleep. To keep himself awake he placed the 
hilt of his sword to the upper part of his foot and the point to his 
eyebrow, and whenever he began to nod the sword kept him 
awake. When the band of soldiers passed near him he came up 
after them and killed them all. 



Fionrfs Ransom. 61 

He now thought the tall old man would not be long of appear- 
ing, and he began to dig a deep hole in the earth and to cover it 
with wood, grass, and moss. When the pitfall was nearly finished, 
in the gathering twilight, the terrific and incomparably dreadful 
big grey man came, and he and the little swaddler began to fight 
a battle. They attacked one another roughly and fiercely. In 
the heat of the conflict they drew near the opening that was in 
the ground, and the terrible great man fell in. Then the little 
swaddler took the advantage of him, and cut off his head. 

Shortly after this fight was over the old woman, whose size 
was large and great, appeared. As she came close to him, her 
breath was weakening him ; he endeavoured as much as he could 
to keep her from him, and they fought almost all night. At the 
break of day, when one of the brothers awoke, he said to himself, 
" I must rise, for I am certain that the man who went to fight in 
my place is long since dead." 

Another of the brothers said, " That part is not the worst of it 
for you, but that your kingdom will be destroyed." The third 
brother said to them all, " We had better go together to the place 
where the battle is being fought. They then set off, and when 
they arrived at the place of battle they found the enormous old 
wife and the little swaddler both together quite exhausted. One 
of the brothers then said, " Oh ! will you not give me the sword 
that I may cut off the wretched old woman's head." " Since I 
finished the foot measure," said the little swaddler, " I will under- 
take the inch measure, but, do you put your finger in that little 
life-restoring stoup over there, and then place it in my mouth." 

When the little swaddler had this done to him, he rose, 
swept the head off the old woman, and killed her. 

The tall men then carried him home on their shoulders, and 
they continued to live together. 

One day when the little swaddler went to the hill to look 
abroad, he saw the darkening of a shower coming from the north- 
west, out of which came a rider on a black steed, who fiercely 
attacked the little swaddler ; but he drew his sword, and cut off 
the head of the rider of the black steed. Then the little swaddler, 
finding that he was quite dead, tried to get what valuables he 
possessed ; but, on searching him, he found only two combs and a 
slim, silken purse, in which were Fionn MacCumhail's six teeth. 
He took possession of them, and returned home. 

One of the brothers asked him what he saw to-day (that day) 
on his travels. He said that he did not see anything that gave 
him pleasure, but the gloom of a shower from the north-west, out 



62 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

of which came a rider on a black steed. " He tried to cut off my 
head, but I drew my sword, and separated his head from his 
body," said the little swaddler. 

" What treasure have you found upon him T they asked. 

" I only found two combs and a slim, silken purse, in which 
were six teeth," said he. 

" Alas ! alas !" said the tallest brother ; " you never did any 
good for us before that is not equalled by the evil you have done 
us to-day. You have killed our father's only brother, who went 
abroad once a year, through every kingdom of the universe to its 
remotest bounds, and returned to give us a history of everything- 
that was taking place." 

What the little swaddler said to them was " If the act that I 
performed is not pleasant to you, I will play the self-same trick on 
yourselves." 

Another of the brothers then said " It has been long foretold 
that it would be the restorer of Fionn MacCumhail's loss who- 
would give us deliverance from all our warfare and conflicts." 

The little swaddler now said that he thought he would leave 
them, as he had found Fjpnn's ransom. In reply, the brothers 
said they would give him a black steed that would ride the green 
ocean, as though it were the fair grassy land ; " and you will 
bring to our sister news of us, and make her your lawful wife." 

The little man with the steed then directed his face for Feinne 
Land ; and, in the dusk and twilight of that evening, was with 
Fionn MacCumhail to enquire from him and from his foster 
brothers whether they had found the ransom. 

They all answered that they had not found it. He then drew 
out the slim silken purse, with the six teeth contained in it, and 
said to Fionn " Your ransom is there, but your foster brothers, 
did not get it for you." 



19th JANUARY, 1889. 

At this meeting, after transacting some preliminary business. 
in connection with the annual dinner, the Secretary read a paper 
contributed by Mr Charles Fraser-Mackintosh, M.P., entitled, 
"Minor Highland Septs, No. 2. The Macdonalds of Morar,. 
styled ' Mac Dhughail.' " Mr Mackintosh's paper was as. 
follows : 



Minor Highland Septs. 63- 



MINOR HIGHLAND SEPTS, No. 2. 

THE MACDONALDS OF MORAR, STYLED 
"MAC DHUGHAIL." 

This family long held a prominent position in Inverness-shire. 
It descended from Allan Maclluari, one of the most famous of the 
distinguished chiefs of Clan Ranald, who was executed for treason- 
able actions at Blair-Athole in 1509. 

The first of the family was Dugald Macdonald, after whom 
the lairds had the patronymic, and were in Gaelic styled "Mac 
Dhughail" when in conjunction with the territorial designation 
of Morar, " Mac vie Dhughail," by and in itself. 

There is some doubt as to the connection betwixt Dugald and 
Allan MacRuari. The historian of CJanranald, writing in 1819, 
describes him as son of " Angus Reoch," who was fourth son of 
Allan MacRuari ; and as at that time the unparalleled misfortunes 
which befel the main line (afterwards alluded to) had occurred, 
the historian thus feelingly refers to Morar as "a family which 
has supported the dignity of the name for ages, and whose worth 
will be long remembered." Mr Gregory, however, and Mr Alex- 
ander Mackenzie, in his History of the Macdonalds and Lords of 
the Isles, state that Dugald was the only son of Ranald, executed 
in 1513, eldest son of Allan MacRuari, and thus the real heir, who, 
in consequence of his cruelties, was murdered shortly after his 
accession, and his family excluded from the succession. It would 
be out of place here to enter fully into the matter, and the descen- 
dants of Dugald, though they accepted his name, relinquished all 
title to the chiefship, which remained unchallenged in Ian 
Muidartach and his descendants. 

Before giving some account of the various heads of the Morar 
family, it may be as well at this point to describe their lands. 
South Morar was their chief residence, consisting of a 14 merk 
land of old extent. North Morar, formerly part of Glengarry, 
was judicially sold in 1768, and bought by General Fraser of 
Lovat, who was anxious to add to his political influence. In 
Gaelic, South Morar was " Morar-vic-Dhughail," and North Morar, 
" Morar-vic-Shimmie." South Morar, in its entirety, was a fine 
property, extending from the sea to the head waters of Glen Pean, 
which flow into Loch Arkaig, and to the sources of the river 
Finnon, which runs into Loch Shiel. It contained all the waters 



<64 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

which run into one side of the historic Loch Morar, including also 
the whole of Loch Beoraid, in. itself a grand sheet of water. There 
.are some pretty islets in Loch M^rar, in one of which, it is alleged, 
Simon Lord Lovat was taken in 1746, concealed in the hollow 
of an old tree. The tradition is inaccurate ; there are no appear- 
ances of old trees in the islands, and trees which, I observe, by an 
account of seeds and labour, were planted in 1802, have been cut 
down for estate purposes. 

The place where Lord Lovat was taken, I am informed by Mr 
Eneas Macdonell of Morar, is called " Druim-a-Chuirn," situated 
on the south-east side of Loch Morar, part of the farm of Meople. 
Mr Macdonell saw the tree some forty years ago, then much 
-decayed, and he understood there are at present no remains. He 
took it to have been a fir, but those with him made it hardwood. 

The river Morar, with its rapids and falls, is most picturesque. 
In Eigg, the Morar family had Gruillen, Galmistell, Sandiemore, 
Hollin, Knockeltaig, and Cleadell. They also had the lands of 
Linaclete in Benbecula, and Machermeanach in South Uist. One 
of the cadets of Morar founded the family of Garryghoul, after- 
wards Gerrinish, whose descendant in 1854 became heir to Morar, 
and sold the estate. 

When these lands in South Uist and Benbecula were sold to 
Boisdale by Allan Roy of Morar, it was said he had been outwitted, 
-and I observe a curious statement made in the year 1854, by John 
Macdonald, cottar in Arisaig, then aged 82, that the Gerrinish 
family '* had money on those lands which had been left to them as 
Thanishdearachd." The family has long been out of Uist, but 
.has left some permanent memorials. Miss Mary Macdonald, a 
-member of the family, residing in Glasgow in 1854, aged 60, says, 
" Ranald of Gerrinish's first wife was Isobel, daughter of Morar. 
She was drowned in the ford. The rock has ever since been called 
' Isabella s Rock.' I have seen it myself." Miss Macdonald's 
sister, Mrs Anne Mackinnon, says, " I have often stood in the 
burying-ground at Howmore, between the graves of Ranald's two 
wives. The burying-ground is called the Morar family burying- 
-ground in Gaelic, Clach or Cille-vic-Coule." 

The Morar family had at times other lands, particularly seven 
merks of Arisaig, but those I have mentioned were all included in 
the County Cess Roll, made up in 1691. 

I. DUGALD MACDONALD was succeeded by 

II. ALLAN, designed in 1538 as " Allan Mac-Coull-MacRan aid," 
who, with his younger brother Lachlan, receive a grant of the non- 
entry duties of 14 merks of Morar, 9 merks in Eigg, 13 merks in 



Minor Highland Septs. 65 

Benbecula, and 7 merks of Arisaig. From this period, at least, 
commences the distinct connection of the Mac-Coul family with 
Morar. In a remission, dated 3rd March, 1566, in favour of Clan- 
ranald and his friends and followers, the first name after that of 
John, the chief, and Allan, John Og, Roderick, Angus, and Donald 
Gorme, all his sons, is that of "Allan Mac Coul Vic Ranald de 
Morar." 

The Clanranald historian seems to make him the same person 
as Allan MacRanald of Easter Leys, who is found in 1581. I 
infer that Allan of Easter Leys was of the Keppoch family. His 
eldest son and apparent heir, named John, appears in 1588, and he 
himself writes a long letter, dated at the Chanonrie of Ross, as 
late as 1596. Allan the second was succeeded by 

III. ALEXANDER, found in 1610 as "Alexander Mac-Allan-Mac- 
Coul MacRanald" of Morar. In his time, the Morar family was in 
the height of its prosperity. He received a Crown Charter of all 
the lands above particularised, including the seven merks in 
Arisaig, from James VI., dated Edinburgh, 15th March, 1610. 

Alexander, with consent of his eldest son, Allan Mor, feued out 
ten pennies of Cleadell, Knockiltaig, and Hollin, in Eigg, to his 
brother Ranald, in life-rent, and the latter's son Angus, in fee, in 
the year 1618. This family of Knockiltaig ran on for a long 
time, and in 1818 its representative, Capt. George Macdonald of 
the 68th Regiment, was a claimant for the Morar estate, and tried 
to get himself appointed tutor-at-law to John, 12th of Morar, but 
the attempt failed, there being some doubt as to the marriage of 
the Captain's parents. 

IV. ALLAN MOR. In 1646 Allan styling himself "Allan 
vie Allister," Laird of Morar, enters into a Bond of Friendship 
with John and Donald, elder and younger of Clanranald. 

This would imply that the ' Mac-Couls were independent of 
Clan Ranald. Allan Mor had three sons, Allan Oig, his successor, 
John, who died without issue, and Alexander, ancestor of Garry- 
gual and Gcrinish, whose descendants, as I have said, ultimately 
succeeded to the estate. Allan Mor had one daughter, who 
married Alexander Macdonald of Kinlochmoidart, which Alexander 
died in 1644. Allan was succeeded by 

V. ALLAN OIG, and he in turn was succeeded by his second 
son, 

VI. ALEXANDER, who had several sons, including Allan Roy, who 
succeeded, and John, the fourth son, first of the Guidale family, 
whose grandson James, an idiot, was for a time proprietor of Morar. 
Alexander, who was out with Dundee, was succeeded by 

5 



66 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

VII. ALLAN ROY. He is foiind party to a dee<'i in 1702. and 
he, described as yr. of Morar, witnesses a deed in 1683. He died 
prior to 1759, having been infeft in Morar in 1726. He married 
Marjory, youngest daughter of Sir Ewtn Cameron of Lochiel, leav- 
ing five sons, who all died without issue, save John, the eldest. 
One of Allan Roy s daughters married John 6th of Glenalladale, 
and her son, Alexander, young Glenalladale, was one of the first to 
join Prince Charlie, and proved a most devoted adherent. 

Allan was somewhat facile, and in his time the family began to 
decay. In 1748 he sold his South Uist and Benbecula lands to 
Boisdale, and feued Rhettland, part of South Morar. An old faded 
document, being an agreement 'twixt Angus Macdonald of Rhett- 
land, and his son, Allan, is somewhat curious, and may be given, 
as it relates to the great emigration movement which had then 
begun : 

"Att Sunisleter, 7th June, 1772. 

" It is agreed and contracted betwixt Angus MacDonald of 
Retland and Allan MacDonald, his eldest son, whereas the said 
Angus and Allan MacDonald are to sell and dispose of the whole 
lands, holding feu of John Macdonald of Morar, do hereby bind 
and oblige us heirs and successors to perform the following articles 
and conditions. That is to say, that the third part of the price of 
the foresaid lands are to be employed in making a purchase in 
whatever part they think most convenient in America, and that 
the foresaid Allan MacDonald, being the eldest son and heir of the 
foresaid Angus MacDonald of Retland, is to have the whole of these 
lands purchased with the foresaid money, except five hundred acres 
for each of his other four sons, and one thousand to be att the 
disposal of the foresaid Angus MacDonald of Retland, and the 
other two parts of the price of foresaid lands to be equally divided 
betwixt the foresaid Angus MacDonald of Retland, and the foresaid 
Allan MacDonald his son. I, Angus MacDonald of Retland, and 
Allan MacDonald, my son, do hereby bind and oblige ourselves to 
extend the above upon stamped paper when convenient. 

" In witness whereof we have signed these presents before these 
witnesses Ranald MacDonald, tacksman of Grulin, in Eigg, and 
Donald MacDonald, in Sunisleter. (Signed) Angus MacDonald, 
Allan MacDonald, Ranald MacDonald, witness, Donald Mac- 
Donald, witness." 

Rhettland was ultimately acquired by the sagacious John 
Macdonald of Borrodale, who afterwards succeeded to Gleualladale. 

By the advice of friends, Allan Roy interdicted himself from 
acting without their consent, but mischief had already been done. 



Unor Highland Septs. 

Both Allan Roy and his son John were out in the '45, and an 
account of interviews they had with Prince Charles when a fugitive 
in the neighbourhood of Morar, is well known. From the account 
it seems that the old man was more inclined than his son to run 
all risks for his Prince. One of Allan's daughters was the Janet 
before referred to as having been drowned in a ford of Uist. 
Allan was succeeded by his son 

VIII. JOHN MACDONALD, commonly termed " Lieutenant 
John." He succeeded to an embarrassed estate, and being tempted 
to enter into litigation, to set aside his father's sales to Macdonald 
of Boisdale, he got into great difficulties, finally losing his case 
in the House of Lords in 1764. He married Mary, thirteenth 
child of Ranald of Kinlochmoidart, by Margaret, only daughter 
of John Cameron of Lochiel. 

One of Mary's brothers was the well-known Angus Macdonald, 
banker in Paris, who disappeared during the French Revolution 
while Paris was in the hands of the mob. Another was Ranald, 
who will ever be sympathetically remembered by Highlanders, as 
that youth who, with hardly suppressed anger against his relatives, 
Clanranalcl and Kinlochmoidart, impatiently stood on the deck of 
the vessel while Prince Charles was vainly striving to get their 
assent to the rising. "Home's History," p.p. 39 and 40. 

Sometime after his legal defeat in 1764, John entered the 
British Service, and served for years in America. He had to part 
with his remaining lands in Eigg, viz., Gruellin and the Knockil- 
taig feus, to Ranald Macdonald of Clanranald, in the year 1773, for 
the sum of .1070. There is a curious limitation in the deed of 
conveyance, to the effect that, though Galmistell and Sandimore 
were conveyed, it was without warrandice, because, though they 
appeared in Morar's charters, they had in fact been always pos- 
sessed by Clanranald. After his return from the American War 
John lived at Kinlochmoidart, then at Glenancross, and thereafter 
at Bunacamb, where he died in the autumn of 1809, at an 
advanced age. 

The sales mentioned did not suffice to clear the encumbrances. 
General Fraser of Lovat befriended him, and made advances, but 
the upper end of Morar, now generally comprehended under the 
one possession of Meople, was sold by John and his son to Ewen 
Cameron of Fassfern. John was a man of considerable ability, as 
may be seen by the following instructions, which are holograph, to 
prepare the marriage contract of his daughter : 

"Outlines of the contract of marriage betwixt Lt. Miles 
M 'Donald, of the late 8th Regiment of Foot on the one part, and 



68 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Isabella M'Donald, daughter to John M'Donald of Morar, the said 
J. M'D. and Lt. Simon M'Donald, younger of Morar, on the other 
part, that is to say, the said Lt. M. M'D. having married the said 
Isabella M'D. on the day of July last, with the consent of her 
said father and brother. But no contract or mention of agreement 
being hitherto extended, or mention in any manner except what 
passed verbally, and the said John M'D., with consent of Lt. Simon 
M'Donald foresaid, obliges them to pay to said Lt. Miles M'D. the 
sum of 100 stg., as portion or dowry, with the annual rent 
thereof, from date of their marriage till paid. In consideration of 
which, and on the other part, the said Lieut. Miles M'Donald 
obliges him and his heirs, &c., &c., &c., to secure to the said Isa- 
bella M'Donald, his spouse, in case she survives her said husband, 
by good sufficient land security, or by lodging a capital sum equal 
thereto, the sum of 20 stg. yearly, beginning the first payment 
thereof the first term after her said husband's decease, together 
with an equal half of all the movable stock, household furniture, 
or silver plate of whatever kind that may happen to belong to 
them at the dissolution of the marriage, in case no child or child- 
ren shall then li ve or be procreate between them ; but, in case 
there are children or child then living procreate betwixt them, in 
that case she is only to have one-third of the movables, as also of 
conquest from the time of their marriage, and she is entitled to 
the best horse, together with thirty pounds stg. in name of a com- 
pliment and a grant of mourning." 

The sum of <40 was expended in John Macdonald's funeral 
expenses, including half an anker of rum and four casks of whisky. 
He left two sons and two daughters Simon, who succeeded 
Colonel Coll Macdonald, 2nd Battalion of the Eoyals, one daugh- 
ter, Isabella, above referred to, and Margaret, wife of that well- 
known litigant; Dr Donald Macdonald, of Fort- Augustus. John 
was succeeded in the estate by his eldest son. 

IX. SIMON, afterwards Major in the army, who married, in 
1784, Amelia, only child of Captain James Macdonell of Glen- 
meddle, younger son of Glengarry, and Jean Gordon, daughter of 
old Glenbuckett. 

Miss Macdonell was highly accomplished, and an heiress, and 
the romantic circumstances connected with Morar's successful 
wooing I have mentioned in another place, as these were related 
to me by my mother, who was personally acquainted with Major 
and Mrs Macdonald. Old Morar, at the marriage of his son in 
1784, gave over the estates, reserving a liferent. 

Simon Macdonald built the house of Tray, afterwards called 
Morar House, where he and his wife happily resided for some years, 



Minor Highland Septs. 69 

he busying himself in the pursuits of a country gentleman. They 
were both good musicians, and in the small though varied library 
at Tray at his death, there were 11 volumes of music, and amongst 
his effects, three violins and a piano. The old mansion of the Mac- 
Couls was stone built, gtibled, and thatched, situated at Glen- 
ancross. 

When Simon left Glenancross, and built Tray, his father John 
also left it, and, as I have said, resided in a cottage at Bunacaimb, 
still standing, where he died. No vestige of the Glenancross 
house remains. 

Simon took great interest in urging the opening up of Lochiel, 
Arisaig, and the two Morars, by good roads, finding then, as is 
now, the inconvenience of the 20 lands of Lochiel being situated 
in Argyle. 

I give one of his letters as a specimen : 

" Dear Sir, The Roman Catholic gentlemen in this neigh- 
bourhood swore allegiance to His Majesty last week, in compliance 
to the late Act in their favour, which I here enclose, but wish to 
have returned by my servant. You'll find also enclosed a list of 
the gentlemen, to be delivered to the Sheriff Clerk conformed to 
the Act; likewise 2 Is, out of which give the Olerk 1 7s, the 
balance to credit of my own account. There is enclosed a para- 
graph, which please transmit to Edin 1 mrgh with all despatch, to 
be published in three different Edinburgh papers, and in the 
Glasgow News. Acquaint me of the expense with due convenience, 
and it will be remitted. I hope, as the gentlemen left it with me 
to get these things done, you'll be so good as not neglect them. I 
always am, dear Sir, yours very sincerely, 

(Signed) " SIMON M 'DONALD. 
"Arisaig, 18th Augt., 1793." 

His family increasing, and the old military spirit still glowing, 
he again entered the army. His mother-in-law, Mrs Macdonell of 
Glenmeddle, writing from Inverie, 9th June, 1794, says: "Mr 
Macdonald has accepted of a Commission from the Marquis of 
Huntly. Since it was to be so, I wish it had been sooner. He 
has got some recruits. God grant all things may do well for him- 
self and family." He became Major in the 92nd Regt., and after 
being abroad for some time, retired in bad health. He died on 
the 12th March, 1800, and in one of his last letters, bearing date 
the 13th January, he writes, alluding to a notorious quack 
medicine of the day termed, "the Balm of Gilead," thus "The 
Gilead cordial I have found benefit from, so I mean to commission 



70 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

a whole case from Edinburgh. If the effects are so sensibly felt 
in every complaint to which it is applied as a cure, it must be a 
blessing to society." The Major was buried with his fathers with- 
in the walls of the ancient chapel at Kilmoire of Arisaig, one of 
the seven expiatory chapels of " Allan-nan-Creach," and a hand- 
some tombstone, costing 14 sterling, is ordered from Greenock. 

This was the first blow to his widow, left with a young family 
of five Elizabeth, James, Mary, Simon, and John. Her next 
misfortune was in the year 1803, when, having previously removed 
to Inverness for the sake of her childrens' education, she lost, in 
the month of July, her daughter Mary, and in November, her 
clever mother, Mrs Macdonell of Glenmeddle. Both were 
buried at Inverness. In these days, in towns, it was custo- 
mary to have a funeral dinner or "entertainment" as it was 
termed, and it needed, with other liquors, the consumption of 28 
bottles of port to pay proper respect to the old lady's memory, at 
Fraser's hotel. I give a specimen of her letters : 

"Sir, I would have wrote you sooner, according to promise, 
but was detained longer by the way here than I expected, by my 
relations and friends in Perthshire. I only arrived here last week. 
I long much to know about your Mrs M'Donell and how all 
matters are. I sincerely wish and hope all is weel to your and 
her comfort. I am very anxious to hear. What can I think not 
to have had a letter or any accounts from my daughter or from 
Knoidart since I left Inverness. You cannot imagine my uneasi- 
ness, God grant they may be all weel. 1 am amongst my kindest 
and best friends, but in the midst of all, not happy with my 
anxiety in not hearing from my daughter, the reason of which I 
cannot comprehend. I have been at Lord Henderlands mostly 
since I came here. They are at Murray field, about two miles from 
town. My Lord sets off the 15th for Inverness, from Mercer of 
Aldies. I dined at St Martins with Remulin, and returned to Mr 
Mercer's at night. I only saw Mr Fraser, Gortuleg ; he called 
upon me the day I came to town ; he went north next day, but 
says he returns soon. I beg to hear from you upon receipt of this. 
Let me know all your news, how they are at Invergarry, what 
has become of Mrs M'Cay, but I beg to know when you heard 
from Knoidart. I shall conclude with my kindest compts. to Mrs 
M. and you, and am, Dr. Sir, your' assured friend, and humble 
servt., (Signed) " JEAN MACDONELL. 

"Edin., Carrubers Close, Sept. 10th, 1787. 

" Direct to me at Mrs Laing's, Carrubers Close, and care of 
Mr Angus M'Donell, Merchant, Parliament Close. 



Minor Highland Septs. 71 

" Compts. to Mr John M'Donald and Mrs M 'Donald, and to 
good Miss Gordon. Adieu, write me soon." 

In 1804, when in his llth year, Mrs Macdonald's youngest 
son, John, met with an accident, and began to show signs of 
fatuousness. 

I have placed Major Sirnoii Macdonald as the 9th of Morar, 
because, though he predeceased his father, he had been put in pos- 
session of the estate. He was succeeded by his eldest son 

X. JAMES, who, in 1805, like his father and grandfather, 
betook himself to a military life, entering his father's regiment, as 
seen by the following letter addressed to his uncle, Colonel Coll 
Macdonald : 

" Aberdeen, 28th September, 1805. 

" Sir, The Marquis of Huntly is extremely happy to 
acquaint you that he has no\v procured an ensigncy in the 92nd 
for your nephew, James Macdonald. 

(Signed) " THOS. JOHNSTONS, Major of Brigade." 

James Macdonald was sent abroad immediately, saw much ser- 
vice, and went through a deal of hardship. It was reported that 
he was killed at Corunna, but, in a letter from a friend of the family 
in Edinburgh, dated 31st January, 1809, it is said "There has 
been word from James Morar, who it seems has been lucky enough 
not to be at the Battle of Corunna. He says the army have lost 
in all 10,000 men in battle, and left on the road in retreat from 
fatigue ; but it is said confidently that 4500 only have been lost. 
James Morar was in the rear on the march, and was skirmishing 
and retreating for three weeks." 

James Macdonald returned home a major, and his mother, 
writing from Morar House, on 17th October, 1809, says her son 
Simon had a letter " from James. He is, I thank God, well. His 
regiment is at Woodbridge, in Suffolk. He is put into the Grena- 
diers as a mark of distinction." 

His own views are well expressed in a long letter, dated Wood- 
bridge, 1 8th October, 1809, from which I make an extract : "I 
am now the representative of an ancient and honourable family, 
with hardly a vestige of property, but the name, with a family to 
support, and debts to be expunged. Providing for the one, and 
supporting the other, as becomes them, are my objects, and, with 
the assistance of God, I am determined to overcome all obstacles 
to effect them. The task is difficult." 

Alas ! that such high hopes should be frustrated. He shortly 
fell into ill health, and died at Edinburgh, after a lingering illness, 



72 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

in the month of October, 1811. On 30th October a youth at 
college writes to Inverness " Poor Morar was buried on Tuesday. 
They got a very bad day, for it incessantly rained all the time of 
the burial." The death of her eldest son, of whom she was justly 
proud, was a sad stroke to his mother, but she still had the com- 
fort of her second son Simon. James Macdonald was succeeded by 
his brother. 

XL SIMON, llth of Morar. He was intended for the profession 
of the law, and carefully educated, first by Mr Ewan Maclachlan, 
of Aberdeen, and afterwards at the University of Edinburgh. He 
was the favourite of his mother and only surviving sister. It may 
be imagined, therefore, what an overwhelming shock it was to these 
loving ones to hear that in April, 1812, barely six months after his 
accession, he was killed by the accidental discharge of his gun 
while visiting a relative in Moidart. Upon his way to shoot at 
Kinlochmoidart, Simon Macdonald stayed a night at the house of 
Irin. Starting off after breakfast on 22nd April, in health and 
spirits, he took up his gun, which had been placed over night 
against the wall behind a sofa. In doing this the gun went off, 
the contents penetrating his head, and, though he lived three 
hours, never spoke. Simon was succeeded by his only surviving 
brother, 

XII. JOHN, 1 2th of Morar. He, as I have stated, showed signs 
of fatuousness as early as 1804, and, by the time of his accession, 
had quite sunk into idiotcy. He attained his majority in 1814. 

These unparalleled misfortunes left Mrs Macdonald with only 
one real comfort her eldest daughter, Elizabeth. She, like her 
mother, was highly accomplished and well up to business. I can- 
not better illustrate this than by giving a paper drawn out and 
holograph of herself, early in 1814, in reference to certain accounts 
of cash and business, which had been laid before her mother and 
herself 

" Memorandum as to the Accounts : 

"A. These two Accounts, the 60 is not included in which he 
was due Mrs M. 

"B. The Interest of Glengarry's Bond, which was due two 
years, he sent by Mr J. M. in 1809, which he puts right in his 
account, but in making up the Interest, he charged her Interest 
upon from 1807. And the Accounts he paid in the same way at 
that time. 

" C. These two accounts are the same, but that the agency is 
charged more in the last sent. 



Minor Highland Septs. 73 

" D. This Account he has put John in place of Simon. In it 
he charges with an Interview with our Lamented Simon when he 
was in Morar. It was the day after his coming of age, the 14th 
of April, when every person knows that he was not at Inverness. 
In John's accounts he has chaiged the Postages much more than 
they are. As to mine, if lie sends the vouchers I shall be 
satisfied." 

Mrs Macdonald was destined to lose, and that very shortly, as 
I have said, her last comfort. Borrodale writes on 4th July, 
1814: 

"Dear Sir, Mrs Macdonald, Morar, with her poor reduced 
family, arrived from Edinburgh on the 23rd of last month. Miss 
Macdonald w r as much reduced indeed, but she retained such spirits 
that I thought she mi2jht live a few weeks. The poor mother 
never despaired of her recovery until Thursday night last, late in 
the evening, and early on Friday morning she departed this life. 
The interment is to be on Thursday. You will easily conceive the 
distress of worthy Mrs Macdonald on losing her last hope and 
only comfort. I am happy to be able to say she bears this severe 
trial with a great degree of Christian fortitude, as much so as 
could be expected from any woman in her situation. I am, dear 
Sir, ydurs very truly, 

(Signed) " JOHN MACDONALD. 

"Morar House, 4th July, 1814." 

Barisdale, writing same day from Auchtertyre, says : " I am 
just preparing to set off for poor Betsy Morar's interment. God 
help her distressed mother ; few women have suffered more in the 
world, or borne her fate with more resignation and fortitude." 

In 1818, when certain formalities were to be gone through 
with regard to the management of the estate, an old friend writing 
by a messenger-at arms to Mr John Macdonald, priest of Arisaig, 
and to Mr Macdonell of Rhue, says " The bearer goes to cite 
John Morar, the remaining stock of my most affectionate friends, 
Major and Mrs MacdonaW of Morar. That that family should 
have been so reduced is truly distressing to me." 

Mrs Macdonald did not long survive. Glengarry, writing on 
16th May, 1817, states "He expects setting out for the West 
to attend the funeral of my poor cousin, Mrs Macdonald of Morar." 
She left considerable means, Lord Medwyn, Mr J. A. Murray, 
-afterwards Lord Murray, Wm. Macdonald of St Martins, and Alex. 
Macdonell of Rhue and Lochshiel, being her executors. Mrs 
Galbraith, daughter of Ranald Macdonell of Scotos, speaking in 



74 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

1854, aged over 70, said " I lived for three years preceding Mrs 
Macdonald's death with her at Morar House." Space prevents my 
giving one of her numerous letters. Lord Murray, her maternal 
cousin, was appointed her residuary legatee, and though a great 
part of it was laid out by him for the benefit of the people, it did 
not prove a success. He erected a monumental tablet in one of 
the walls of Kilmoir chapel, with the following inscription : 

" Sacred to the Memory 

of 

AMELIA, 

Widow of Simon Macdonald of Morar, 
Of their Daughter ELIZA, and Sons, 

JAMES, SIMON, and JOHN. 

The sorrows of a mother, borne with patience truly Christian, and 
the sad fate of her family, are here recorded. 

K.I.P. 
J. A. M., Posuit, 1843." 

Colonel Coll Macdonald, only brother of Simon 9th of Morar, 
married Miss Frances Cochrane, and left an only child Mary. The 
Colonel, who was in very good circumstances, had to be placed 
under restraint in 1814, and died towards the close of 1817. 
Mary Macdonald married Angus Macdonell, commonly called 
''Angus Inch," from his farm in the Brae of Lochaber. Mr Eneas 
Macdonell, Morar, to whom I am much indebted for information 
in preparing this paper, describes Mrs Macdonell of Inch in these 
words, in answer to my specific enquiries, made in respect that she 
and her descendants became heirs of line of " Mac Dhughail " 
" Mrs Macdonell was regarded by every one who saw her as a 
very handsome and beautiful woman. She retained her good 
looks and graces to the last. She was little past middle life when 
she died. The old Macdonalds of Morar were, I have always heard, 
a good looking race. I am not sure whether Mrs Macdonell died 
before or after the family emigrated. My impression is that her 
death took place in this country. Mrs Macdonell was an elegant, 
agreeable, well-informed woman." I observe that in August of 
this present year, 1888, Archie, youngest son of Mr and Mrs Mac- 
donell of Inch, died at Melbourne. 

John, 12th of Morar, who died about 1832, was succeeded by 
his second cousin, of the Guidale family. 

XIII. JAMES, 13th of Morar, also fatuous. He died about 
1853, and the estate being destined to heirs male, he was succeeded 
by a very distant cousin of the Gerinish family, which had 
emigrated to America, 



Minor High/and Septs. 75 

XIV. RANALD, 14th of Morar, who claimed through Alexander, 
3rd son of Allan Mor, 4th of Morar. This Ranald's proof of 
propinquity was difficult, but it was assisted by a proof taken by 
an uncle Allan, in 1824-5. Some rather interesting facts which 
cropped out, may be mentioned. Speaking in 1824, Malcolm 
Gillies, in Cross of Morar, aged 75, says the Gillieses " had been 
long in Morar, and, as far as he had learned, were older in the 
country than even the family of Morar itself." In the same year, 
Donald Macdonald of Eignaig, in Moidart, aged 70 years, says 
" He is well acquainted with the genealogy of the family of Morar, 
and can give them from the Lords of the Isles." In 1825 Miss 
Margaret Macdonald, only sister of young Clanranald of the '45, 
was still alive, and residing at Ormiclate. Her father, Ranald 
Macdonald, in his youth styled of Benbecula, was born in 1692. 
Same year, 1824, Donald Macdonald, tenant in lochdar of South 
Uist, said that in 1746, when Prince Charles Edward came to the 
country, after the battle of Culloden, he, Donald, was 18 years of 
age. In 1854, Donald Thomson at Druim-a-chaillich of Arisaig, 
aged 74, knew an old man, Donald Maceachin, who resided at 
Drumindarroch, and who died 20 years ago a very old man. 
Donald told him he was ten years old when Prince Charles was in 
hiding on the West Coast. I may mention that I have myself 
seen a gentleman who was six years old at the battle of Culloden. 

Ranald, fourteenth of Morar, soLl the estate to Mr Eneas Mac- 
donell, grandson of Ranald Macdonell of Scotas, whose trustees 
parted with it to an English family which had previously acquired 
the adjoining estate of Arisaig. 

Thus Morar, which had never been out of the race and name 
of Macdonald since 1120, and the time of Somerled, was lost to 
them, but it is to be hoped not for ever. 



22nd JANUARY, 1889. 
SEVENTEENTH ANNUAL DINNER. 

This evening the Annual Dinner of the Society was held in the 
Caledonian Hotel. In the absence of The Mackintosh, the Chief of 
the Society, who was unable to be present owing to the illness of 
Mrs Mackintosh, the chair was taken by Sir H. C. Macandrew, who 
was supported by Major Grant, Seaforth Highlanders ; Captain 
Chisholm, Glassburn ; Colonel Gostwyck Gard, Culaneilan House ; 



76 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Mr Campbell of Kilmartin ; Captain Macleod of Cadboll, Cameron 
Highlanders; Captain Davidson, do.; Lieut. Forbes, do.; Surgeon- 
General Grant, Mr Charles Innes, solicitor ; Rev. A. C. Macdonald, 
Queen Street F.C. Manse ; Mr Wm. Mackay, solicitor ; Dr Murray, 
and Mr J. Home, of the Geological Survey. Alex. Macbain, M.A., 
and Bailie Mackenzie were croupiers, and among the company 
present were Mr A. Ross, architect ; Mr Allan Macdonald, Com- 
missioner for The Mackintosh ; Mr Robert Grant, of Macdougall 
<fe Coy.'s ; Treasurer Jonathan Ross, Mr James Barren, Ness Bank ; 
Mr Duncan Campbell, Ballifeary ; Dr F. M. Mackenzie, Dr Moir, 
Aberdeen ; Rev. Mr Sinton, Invergarry ; Mr James Gossip, Inver- 
ness; Mr A. Machardy, Chief-Constable; Mr Donald Fraser of Mill- 
burn; Mr Thomas Fraser, do.; Mr Colin Chisholm, Namur Cottage; 
Mr Wm Macdonald, Sheriff-Clerk Depute ; Mr G. J. Campbell, soli- 
citor ; Mr John S. Fraser, solicitor ; Mr Henry V. Maccallum, 
Queensgate Chambers; Mr T. G. Henderson, Mr Macdonald, 
Superintendent of Police ; Mr John Davidson, Inglis Street ; Mr 
Gilbert A. Matheson, Mr Strickland, Kenneth Street; Mr Alex. 
Fraser, draper, Church Street ; Mr Fraser, Ballifeary ; Mr Mac- 
kenzie, Kenneth Street, Inverness ; Mr Walker, Torbreck ; Mr 
Wm. Macdonald, contractor ; Mr Medlock, jeweller ; Mr John 
Macdonald, Castle Street ; Mr Paul Campbell, Bridge Street ; 
Mr James Macbean, Mr Wm. Miller, Longman Road ; Mr Ewen 
Macrae, Kinbeachie ; Mr Murdo Macrae, do.; Mr Wm. Macbean, 
Imperial Hotel ; Mr John Whyte, Mr Wm. Gunn, Castle Street ; 
Mr Duncan H. Chisholm, do.; Mr Cargill, accountant, Royal 
Bank, Inverness ; Mr Farquhar Urquhart, Union Street ; Mr D. 
M. Cameron, do. ; Mr Fleming, Caledonian Bank, Inverness ; Mr 
Hugh Mackintosh, Castle Street ; Mr D. Ramsay, Mr Mackintosh, 
Bank of Scotland, Secretary of the Society, &c. The large dining- 
room was beautifully decorated with clan tartans and stags' heads, 
and on the large mirror the arms of The Mackintosh, with the 
motto, " Touch not a cat bot a glove," were displayed. 

After dinner, in the service of which Mr Macfarlane excelled 
himself, the loyal and patriotic toasts were given from the chair. 
In proposing the Queen, Sir Henry said he asked them to drink 
to her, not only as sovereign of the British Empire, but as the 
oldest repiesentative of royal families on the face of the earth 
(applause) which was proved, as he was convinced, by her descent 
from the ancient Pictish Kings, whose headquarters were at Inver- 
ness (applause). In proposing the health of the Prince and 
Princess of Wales and the other members of the Royal family, Sir 
Henry said they could not forget in this connection the widowed 



Annual Dinner. 77 

lady, who was DOW in this country, the Empress of Germany 
(applause). He was sure they appreciated her virtues perhaps 
with considerably greater force than the subjects of her late 
husband did ; and they would have learned with pleasure that 
the Empress had the other day come into a singular piece of good 
luck by having a legacy left her by an Italian lady, which was 
even worthy of an Empress, the sum being stated at 600,000 
(applause). 

Sir Henry, in giving the patriotic toast, said they had been 
told recently that the Highland regiments were not to be con- 
sidered as the peculiar property of Scotland, and that they must 
look forward to having in Scotland other regiments in the 
garrisons, because all were alike regiments of the British Empire. 
He was convinced that they would protest as vigorously and suc- 
cessfully against that innovation as they did against the proposed 
abolition of the Highland regiments (applause). Many of the 
English battalions were no doubt quite as distinguished in their 
service as the Highland regiments, but they preferred to have the 
Highland bonnets in their midst, and to see their sons serve their 
Queen and country in their ranks (applause). In his concluding 
sentences, Sir Henry alluded to the eminent military services of 
Field-Marshal Sir Patrick Grant, one of the oldest members of 
the Gaelic Society, remarking that he was sure it was a source of 
satisfaction to them to find his son at the table to associate with 
the toast of the Army (applause). 

Major Grant, who was received with applause, said he supposed 
the old military spirit still lingered in the Highlands, but he 
sometimes wondered if nothing more could be done to popularise 
the army as a profession for Highlanders. Amongst those present 
were no doubt landlords, municipal authorities, factors, employers 
of labour, and tenants of large farms, men who in town and 
country districts exercised authority and influence, who must know 
of many fine young fellows who were idling away their time, and 
living from hand to mouth, and who, if they could be induced to 
join the army, would benefit both themselves and do a service to 
their country (applause). He wished some influence towards 
a military career could be brought to bear upon this class. He 
did not refer to those young fellows who were doing their duty by 
striving to help forward the trade and agriculture of the country, 
whose assistance was required at home, but to those, and there 
were many, he was afraid, in the Highlands, who were idling 
along and were a burden to their families and a degradation to 
themselves and their race (applause). In the army they would 



78 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

become gallant soldiers, and they would earn, what they had little 
prospect of earning otherwise, a pension to comfort them in their 
old age (applause). He desired to thank Sir Henry for the terms 
in which he had alluded to his father (applause). It was a grand 
thing to have a father to be as proud of as he was of his. In his 
old age nothing delighted Sir Patrick Grant more than to know 
that his name was still looked upon with some affection in the 
Highlands he loved so well (applause). 

At this stage of the proceedings, the Secretary, Mr Duncan 
Mackintosh, read the annual report of the Executive, which was 
as follows : ' The Council have pleasure in reporting that the 
prosperity and usefulness of the Society continue to increase. 
During the past year 45 new members were enrolled, and eleven 
volumes added to the library. The fourteenth volume of Transac- 
tions is now in the binder's hands, and will be delivered to the 
members in the course of a few days. It is one of the largest of 
the Society's annual volumes, and it is believed that its contents 
will be found of much interest and value. The syllabus for session 
1888-89 shows that there is no abatement in the activity of the 
members in the special field which the Society endeavours to 
cultivate. The Treasurer reports as follows : Balance from last 
year, 66 10s 4d ; income during year, 121 18s ; total revenue, 
188 8s 4d; expenditure during year, 165 2s 8d ; balance in 
hand, 23 5s 8d. The Council desire to point out that in con- 
sequence of the gradually * increasing size of the Society's annual 
volume of Transactions, the yearly expenditure is also greatly 
increasing ; and they would urgently impress on the members the 
necessity of doing what lies in their power to increase the list of 
the Society's life and honorary members. The study of the 
questions in which the Society is specially interested has greatly 
extended since the foundation of the Society, and able scholars are 
ready to contribute to the Transactions ; but without a consider- 
able increase in the Society's revenue, the Council feel that they 
cannot issue to the members volumes of such size and value as, 
with a larger income, they would be in a position to publish. In 
connection with this subject, the Council have to acknowledge with 
gratitude the liberality of Mr Macdonald of Skeabost, who has 
defrayed the cost of the/ac similes appearing in Volume XIV. now 
about to be issued, of documents from Lord Macdonald's Charter 
Chest, and also of The Mackintosh, Chief of the Society, who has 
offered a prize of 10 10s for the best essay on the social condition 
of the Highlands since 1800. This prize has been advertised, and 
it is hoped the successful essay will appear in the next volume of 
Transactions." 



Annual Dinner. 79 

Apologies for absence had been received from the following 
members : Sir Kenneth S. Mackenzie of Gairloch ; Sir Kenneth 
Matheson of Lochalsh ; Mr R. B. Finlay, Q.C., M.P. ; Mr C, Fraser- 
Mackintosh of Drummond, M.P. ; Mr. D. H. Macfarlane, London ; 
Mr D. Cameron of Lochiel ; Mr Alex. Mackintosh of Holme ; Mr 
Duncan Forbes of Culloden ; Mr Sutherland of Skibo ; Mr Ian 
Macpherson Grant of Ballindalloch ; Mr L. Macdonald of Skeabost ; 
Mr James E. B. Baillie of Dochfour ; Mr L. Macpherson of Glen- 
truim ; Mr P. L. Bankes, Achnasheen, Ross-shire ; Mr D. Cameron, 
Moniack Castle ; Dr Masson, Edinburgh ; Mr Donald Davidson of 
Drummond Park; Mr J. Macpherson, Caledonian United Service 
Club, Edinburgh ; Mr John Henderson, Town Clerk, Fortrose ; 
Mr A. Burgess, banker, Gairloch ; Mr A. Mackintosh Shaw, G.P.O., 
London ; Rev. C. H. Goldthwaite, The Manse, GJen-Urquhart ; Dr 
Miller, Fort-William ; Mr A. Macpherson, solicitor, Kingussie ; 
Rev. John Mackintosh, F.C. Manse, Fort-William ; Rev. Alexander 
Bisset, The Abbey, Fort-Augustus ; Mr A. A. Carmichael, Raeburn 
Place, Edinburgh ; Mr Duncan T.I 'iizi^s, Rogart ; Rev. Robert 
Munro, F.C. Manse, Old Kilpatrick, Glasgow ; Mr Ewen T. Miller, 
Fort- William ; Mr Ewen Cameron, do. ; Rev. J. P. Campbell, 
Manse of Urquharc ; Mr H. Bannerman, Southport ; Mr D. Mac- 
lachlan, Edinburgh ; Mr G. M. Sutherland, Wick ; Mr James M. 
Gow, Union Bank, Hunter Square, Glasgow ; Mr Alex. Maclean, 
Greenock ; Mr John Mackay, C.E., Hereford ; Mr A. C. Mackenzie, 
Maryburgh ; Field-Marshal Sir Patrick Grant, Chelsea. The 
Secretary further stated that he had received a telegram from The 
Mackintosh, wishing all success to the gathering, and read the 
following telegram from Mary Mackellar, the bard of the Society : 
" Buaidh agus piseach, sith agus sonus, do fhear na cathrach 
agus do'n chomunn." 

The Chairman, in proposing the toast of the evening, " Success 
to the Gaelic Society of Inverness," said I must again repeat the 
apology which I made at the beginning of our proceedings, that 
my occupancy of this position arose from the unfortunate absence 
of The Mackintosh of Mackintosh, and that it is only a few hours 
ago that I understood I was to take his place. I hope, therefore, 
that you will not expect from me such an elaborate and thought- 
ful address as is usually delivered on occasions of this kind. The 
toast is one we can all drink with enthusiasm, and the subject of 
the toast is one to which we can refer, I think, with unmixed 
satisfaction (applause). The Gaelic Society of Inverness is, it 
appears to me, fairly and fully fulfilling the objects which its 
founders had in view. It has been doing its utmost to preserve 



80 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

the ancient Highland feeling, to encourage the native Highland 
literature, and preserve the records of Highland history. The 
Secretary has just told iis that the annual volume of the Society's 
transactions would be placed in the hands of members in a few 
days, and he has kindly placed in my hands an advanced copy, 
which, as you will see, is a very bulky and respectable book 
(applause). On looking over the index, one can see that the 
volume contains a great deal of matter which will be valuable 
always as Highland history (applause). There are various 
societies which, in these days, undertake to put into our hands 
in readable form, records and documents relating to the history 
of our country, so far as hitherto has not been published. 
I happen to belong to two of those societies, arid, while the sub- 
scription is a guinea per annum for one or two volumes, I venture 
to say that there is more readable matter in this voLime than in 
the publications of the new Spalding Club, or the Royal Histori- 
cal Society, since they commenced business (applause). Now, 
this is one of the fields in which this Society can be peculiarly 
useful, and in which it may still more extend its efforts. We have 
in this volume a fac simile of a Clan Macdonald Charter, dated 
1744, bearing the signature of Donald Cameron of Lochiel (the 
gentle Lochiel) and two other chiefs ; a most interesting document, 
but I am sorry to say its terms indicate the beginning of the deca- 
dence of the true Highland spirit which characterised the olden 
time. I have not read it through, but I see it is an agreement 
between the three chiefs to the effect that thefts and other depre- 
dations having become injuriously common, they bind themselves 
in the most ignominious manner (laughter) to put these 
offences down ; not only so, but they agree to subscribe a certain 
sum to bring the offenders to justice at the County Courts. Such 
a thing could not be done unless the Highland chiefs had gone 
down greatly in the world (laughter). At an earlier and more 
spirited period, if the chiefs could not protect their thieves and 
depredators, they would have hung them themselves (laughter). 
Another feature of the volume is the unpublished correspondence 
of Lord Lovat, contributed by our friend Mr Wm. Mackay, solici- 
tor, whose forthcoming work on the history of the Castle and Glen 
of Urquhart we are all looking forward to with much anticipation 
and interest (applause). There are various other important sub- 
jects discussed in the volume, and the matter thus given, 
which will prove valuable, as has been recently remarked by those 
of high authority upon these topics, to all Celtic scholars inte- 
rested in the social, political, and antiquarian history of the High- 



Annual Dinner. 81 

land people (applause). I think we may sincerely congratulate 
ourselves on the fact that the Society is prospering, and doing its 
duty well (applause). The membership continues large, and, 
upon the two occasions I was present recently, a satisfactory 
amount of interest was shown in the papers read ; but I only 
wish that more would, by their attendance at the weekly 
meetings, testify to their interest in the Society's work. 
There is only one subject to which I wish to refer, and it 
is one on which I have spoken on former occasions ; I mean the 
promotion of the native industries of the Highlands (applause). 
Since I last alluded to the subject, Mr Alexander Ross has contri- 
buted a paper to the Field Club transactions, in which he gives a 
list of the native Highland dyes used long ago in -the weaving of 
tartans for Highland soldiers, and thus elucidates an interesting 
department of a particular industry. We hear a great deal about 
the land question and about the future of the Highlands, and the 
capacity of this part of the country to maintain a large population. 
I see that our friend Mr Mackenzie, who, I am sorry to see is not 
present to-night, told an audience at Kingussie the other day that 
he had "thocht" out the land question and also "wrochtit oot"- 
(laughter). I cannot say, with regard to the question to which I 
have referred, that I have " wrocht it oot ;" but I feel quite satis- 
fied that the comfort and happiness of the Highland people could 
not be more thoroughly or efficiently promoted than by encourag- 
ing the revival of the old domestic manufactures which used to be 
characteristic of the country (applause). It was true, perhaps, 
that hand-made goods could not compete with the productions of 
modern machinery, but so far as usefulness and economy was 
concerned, I am convinced that home-made material is far more 
profitable in the end (applause). 1 do not refer alone to the 
manufacture of stockings and tweeds, although nothing is more 
beautiful in the world than the Highland tartans and checks. 
There is also the art of carving, which was pre-eminent as an 
industry in byegone times, and the working of metals. In India 
at this day a common peasant will produce an artistic article for 
a few rupees, and there is no doubt that much valuable work of a 
similar kind used to be done in the Highlands in aucieiit times by 
numbers of the peasantry, who received their education in the 
Celtic monasteries. With regard to wood-carving, I can remember 
the period when beautifully carved articles were exposed for sale 
at the Inverness market. An effort has lately been made in the 
Lovat country to revive this art, and at the Sutherland Exhi- 
bition, held in Inverness last summer, a considerable amount of 

6 



82 Gaelic Society of /nuerness. 

work, inucl of which was executed in cottage homes, was 
exhibited. As I have said, if this Society could accomplish some- 
thing in the way of promoting the native industries and 
manufactures of the Highlands, a great deal would be done to add 
to the comfort and happiness and contentment of the Highland 
people (applause). People cannot live on small plots of land 
entirely by that land. On a recent occasion I passed a day at 
Dunvegan, in Skye, along with my friend, Mr Mackay, and 
happened to hear t'hat a young lady had telegraphed to Paris for 
a bonnet in order to attend a marriage. Now, crofts cannot pro- 
duce Parisian bonnets, however well the Highland question may 
be thocht and wrocht oot (laughter) and the people ought to 
know that. They would be very much happier with the articles 
of their own manufacture ; and I would suggest that a 
prize should be given to the woman who dressed best in materials 
of her own manufacture (applause). Sir Henry concluded by 
giving the toast, which was drunk with enthusiasm. 

Mr Alexander Ross, architect, proposed the toast of the Mem- 
bers of Parliament for Highland Counties and Burghs, and said 
he was sure they would all agree with him in saying that, what- 
ever their politics, the desire of all of them was to promote the 
interests of the constituencies they represented (applause). 

Rev. Thomas Sinton, Invergarry, proposed the Language and 
Literature of the Gael (applause). He felt not a little honoured, 
he said, in being asked to propose this toast, which must be 
regarded in some respects as the toast of the evening. Although 
a Borderer by name, he was fully three-fourths Celtic by descent, 
and altogether Highland in his appreciation of the language and 
literature of the Gael (applause). There was an element of truth 
in that hoary myth as to the antiquity of the Gaelic language ; it 
was far less artificial than English or any of the great European 
tongues (applause). He thought it was in a peculiar sense the 
language of the heart and of nature (applause). Through its 
medium the religious instinct found ready utterance ; so did all 
the emotions and affections which were common to all time. 
Surely no other language came more pleasantly from the lips of 
children. The Gaelic bards had deeply revolved the mysteries of 
nature, and their verses vividly portray the changing face of 
nature in storm and calm and sunshine. In poetry of this des- 
cription the literature of the Gael was particularly rich. Take 
Ossian for instance. They should not lose sight of the intrinsic 
merits of the work amid discussions and controversies as to 
whether it was composed by the Bard of Cona or the Bard of 
Badenoch If by James Macpherson, then that gentleman 



Annual Dinner. 83 

cherished a modesty of which none who knew him well thought 
him to be possessed. It was quite true that in the poems of 
Ossian the same images and thoughts occurred again and again. 
But why, the same might be said of Shakesperc. In Ossian, we 
find a plaintive eligiac strain genuinely Celtic. The author must 
have been one familiar with the gloomy grandeur of the moun- 
tains, and the dreary solitude of the moorlands, who had listened 
to the sugh of the wind among the heather and woods and rocks, 
and whose ear had been attentive to the varying cadence of the 
streams from the tinkling rill to the rolling cascade (applause). 
In many passages the voice of nature spoke faithfully. What his 
dear friend the late Principal Shairp of St Andrew's had called the 
poetic interpretation of nature held a very important place in 
Gaelic poetry. Some of the best modern Gaelic bards had visions 
as pure, and impressions as strong, as Words worth, 'and some of 
their verses might fitly be placed alongside of his. They had 
Gaelic bards, too, whose delightful lyrics, instinct with the 
music of love, showed that their authors were endowed with the 
genius of Burns (applause). There was an impression abroad, 
and sedulously fostered in some quarters, that Gaelic was rapidly 
dying, and at no very distant date would be dead and buried. He 
was convinced that the idea was erroneous (applause) that fifty 
years would make very little difference in the number of those 
speaking Gaelic. He had often observed persons who had beei 
speaking freely in English in the presence of strangers suddenly 
and naturally turn to Gaelic when they found themselves' alone. 
The heart then seemed to unbend, and the tone became more real 
(applause). In conclusion, he had at this time much pleasure, 
in proposing the Language and Literature of the Gael, to couple 
with this toast the names of Mr Campbell and Mr Macbain. He 
believed that these gentlemen were upon the eve of making a new 
venture in the field of Gaelic literature. In this field they had 
both already made their mark. In Mr Campbell they had a 
sennachie possessed of wide and varied information in matters 
Celtic, and always able to command a considerable amount of 
bardic fire (applause). In Mr Macbain they had a scholar pro- 
foundly skilled in Gaelic philology, and well able to tread his way 
through g the mazy labyrinth of Celtic folklore. He wished long 
life and prosperity to the new magazine which he believed was 
shortly to appear under the editorial auspices of these gentlemen, 
and he felt assured that under their direction the Highland 
M.mthly, as it was to be called, would be the means of fostering 
and illustrating the language and literature of the Gael 
(applause). 



84 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Mr Campbell made a brief reply to the toast, and Mr Macbain 
also refrained from entering at any length into the subject, on the 
ground that, besides being admirably treated by Mr Sinton, it had 
been thrashed out many times on previous occasions. Mr Macbain, 
in the course of a reference to ancient Highland stories, suggested 
the formation of a society in Inverness to publish some of the 
Edinburgh manuscripts a sort of Gaelic Text Society (applause). 
He thought the project worthy of being taken up in Inverness 
(applause). 

Mr D. Campbell gave the toast of " Highland Education," and 
in doing so said that, being an old schoolmaster himself, he was in 
a position to contrast the old system with the new. In his day, 
education was conducted at a very cheap rate at a rate of 
expense which, he ventured to say, would not keep the creaking 
wheels of the present machinery going (laughter and applause) 
but still the old parochial schoolmaster rendered very efficient 
services to the country (applause). Moreover, the old system 
was, he maintained, ttib right system, because it was based on the 
eternal and immutable laws of nature (laughter and applause) 
whilst the present system was based upon the falsehood of equality 
upon the supposition that children could be driven through cer- 
tain codes, and turned out equally perfect scholars. The result 
of this system was, he thought, that clever children received 
more damage than " dolts" received in advantage. Under the old 
system all children up to ten or eleven years of age received fair 
play, but after that age the schoolmaster and the fathers consulted 
together, and if Johnny was not making so much progress as 
Jamie, Johnny was put to his legitimate occupation, say herding, 
and Jamie was consecrated to a higher position in life, for which 
his abilities fitted him. By a great deal of sacrifice, Jamie was 
sent to college, and he came out as a doctor or clergyman, and was 
an honour to his native glen. By this process of elimination, the 
intellectual aristocracy of the country had a chance of coming to 
the front (applause). He admitted that the present system 
could not be altered as long as payment by results was maintained, 
and he hoped that the expense which the new system incurred 
would be warranted by the results attained ; but his opinion was 
that the present system was more applicable to England, which 
had been deficient in educational organisation as compared with 
Scotland (applause). He coupled the toast with the name of Mr 
Charles Innes, who, he said, had rendered great service to the 
cause of education in the Highlands- (applause) and was at 
the present time doing a great deal of educational service by 



Annual Dinner. 85 

revealing to the people of the Highlands another Highlands in 
another country which deserved theii favourable consideration 
(applause). 

Mr Charles Innes, who was received with applause, said that 
during the past year Highland education had been thoroughly 
maintained ; it h.,d not in any way retrograded, but, on the 
contrary, improved (applause) One remarkable thing about the 
existing system was that the number of defaulting parents who do 
not send their children to school was decreasing. Those parents 
were generally to blame. They were actuated by either of two 
motives ; they were either perfectly indifferent to the education of 
their children, or so greedy that they were willing to sacrifice their 
interests by withdrawing them from school in order to reap the 
benefit of their labour. Hitherto School Boards had tried the 
effect of moral suasion, but with no great success, and the con- 
sequence must be that hereafter the requirements of the Act of 
Parliament must be more rigorously enforced. He had lately 
noticed in the newspapers that certain clergymen had on platform 
and in pulpit been doing all that they could to prohibit the teach- 
ing of dancing, which was, to his mind, a very innocent amusement 
(applause) and one which, in a countiy such as the Highlands, 
where amusements are scarce, should rather be encouraged than 
discouraged (applause). In a society of this sort they could 
afford to tell those gentlemen what was thought of their conduct ; 
and it was interesting to note that, while they preached against 
dancing, he had looked long and in vain for speeches or sermons in 
which these clergymen reproved the parents belonging to their own 
congregations for allowing their children to grow up without getting 
any education whatever (applause). He would leave the matter 
there ; merely adding that it was very difficult to see why such a 
harmless amusement as dancing should be denounced, while the 
conduct of parents who allowed their children to grow up in per- 
fect ignorance was passed over without a word of reproof. The 
only matter connected with education which had occurred during 
the past year, and which was of importance to this part of the 
country, was the proposed radical changes in the future manage- 
ment of the Society popularly known as the S.P.C.K. According 
to the scheme which had been framed, but which had not yet been 
formally sanctioned, a considerable portion of its wealth was to be 
devoted to the cause of secondary education in the Highlands, 
and each Highland county was to be entitled to elect a member of 
the new Board of Governors ; the constituency being the Chairmen 
of School Boards. He understood that for In verr. ess-shire Rev. 



86 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Dr Mackenzie, Kingnssie, was to be appointed representative ; and 
it might interest them to know that, as the result of a suggestion 
made by his friends, a majority of the Chairmen of School Boards 
in Ross and Crouiarty had signified their intention of electing him 
(Mr Innes) as their representative (applause) so that it would 
not be necessary for Inverness-shire or Ross-shire at anyrate to go 
outside the Highlands for parties willing to serve them (applause). 
Mr Innes concluded by an interesting reference to his recent sojourn 
in Canada, making particular allusion to the influential positions 
Highlanders, who had received their education at the old Parochial 
Schools, had won for themselves in that colony. 

The Chairman, in submitting the toast of the "Agricultural 
and Commercial Interests of the Highlands," said the situation 
was summed up in answers which he had lately received from two 
people to whom he put a question as to the aspect of affairs. The 
one, an old smuggler (laughter) and a crofter told him things 
were twice as good as last year, and the other, a factor, said they 
were no doubt vastly improved, because he found that the tenants 
at the last rent collection, not only took their dram cordially, but 
afterwards drank freely by themselves (laughter) a thing they 
had not been in the habit of doing in recent years. Sir Henry 
gave examples of how native Scotchmen, by industry and intel- 
ligence, succeeded abroad. These were the things, he said, that 
made them hopeful of Highland people (applause) and they 
should put their foot down upon any attempt to say that they 
were to remain here in a country which they loved, but which 
could not support them. They were born here, they would come 
back here, but they should rule the Empire (applause). 

Mr Walker, Torbreck, in replying to the toast, said he was old 
enough to have seen several ups and downs in the agricultural 
world. He remembered well the time of the Russian war, when 
all agricultural produce in this country went up to fabulous prices, 
5 being a common figure for a quarter of wheat. These were 
the times when farmers could live and do well. But a mania for 
farming was the result, and bankers, and lawyers, merchants, and 
tradesmen flocked out into the country from every town in Great 
Britain to take farms, the result being that land rose far above its 
value, and prices fell. In less than ten years, helped by a few 
backward seasons, he, as a farmer, was delivering oats in Inverness 
at 15s per quarter. This was in 1864, and the price mentioned 
was the lowest he received at that depressed period. As a conse- 
quence, a great cry got up that farming, at least in the Highlands, 
was done forever, and that good prices would never be obtained 



\nnual Dinner. 

again : but he was not one of those who joined in that cry, for he 
believed in the saying that when things came to their worst they 
always mended (applause). Matters soon took a turn for the 
better, and a number of prosperous years followed years good for 
landlord, the farmer, and the community (applause). Things 
went on swimmingly for ten or twelve years, and then dawned the 
most serious crisis in farming the present generation has seen, A 
dark cloud, without the slightest trace of a silver lining, settled 
down over agriculture, and for a number of years the old, tried, 
and practical farmer had to struggle hard to make ends meet, and 
many good men had to succumb. A multitude of remedies were 
proposed, such as poultry rearing, strawberry growing for jam 
purposes, all of which the practical farmer regards as silly. Then 
a general cry was raised against landlords for raising the rents, but 
it appeared to him that the farmers themselves, and more especi- 
ally those who knew least about agriculture, were more responsible 
in this matter than landlords (applause). It was much to the 
credit of Highland landlords that many of them came to the 
rescue by giving reductions of rent, varying from 20 to 60 per- 
cent., which was the means of saving many good men from going 
to the wall. Second to none in the field of generosity stood the 
noble Chief who presided over this Society (applause). Mr 
Walker concluded by expressing the hope that the revival of agri- 
culture and trade would continue, and that the beautiful glens 
and straths of the Highlands would soon enter upon an era of 
peace and prosperity (applause). 

Mr Robert Grant, of Macdougall & Co., in replying for the 
commercial interests, said Inverness had not escaped the depres- 
sion that had so long prevailed everywhere and proved so 
disastrous in many places. But its native energy and the spirit 
of commercial enterprise had lived through it all, and there w r ere 
few towns where the signs of material progress and improvement 
were so obvious as in and around Inverness (applause). There 
were now indications of general improvement in trade, and Inver- 
ness might expect its fair share of the returning prosperity. 
Although a place of great ancient and modern renown, Inverness 
was after all not a very big place, compared with some of their 
larger old towns or new centres of industry, but its trade was con- 
siderable, and there was every reason to hope it would yet expand, 
and that the commercial interests of Inverness would continue to 
be not unworthy of the historical associations and metropolitan 
character of which its citizens were so justly proud. 

Mr John Home, of the Geological Survey, proposed the toast of 
Kindred Societies, and, in doing so, said he thought it was only 



88 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

natural that in a town associated so closely with the name of Dr 
Carrurhers the study of literature should form the chief aim of 
many of the societies which existed in their midst (applause). 
Dr Murray, President of the Field Club, replied. 

Mr Jiimes Barren, Ness Bank, proposed the toast of the Non- 
Resid^nt Members, to which Dr Moir, Aberdeen, replied, and, in 
doing so, referred to the very deep inteiest taken by Highlanders 
in the proceedings of the Society. 

Captain Chisholm, Glassburn, proposed the toast of the Pro- 
vost, Magistrates, and Town Council of Inverness, to which the 
Provost replied. 

Dr F. M. Mackenzie proposed the toast of the Clergy of all 
Denominations. 

Rev. A. C. Macdonald, in reply, said it was often felt to be a 
matter of regret that there were so many churches and sects in 
the land. He was not sure but they all had some high end to 
serve. An endless density that tends to their endless unity was 
the characteristic of creation. The perfection of a church was not 
to be found in the lower forms of a stupid union, it was to be 
found, if anywhere, in a splendid divergence of thought and feel- 
ing. The weakness of the churches was that which was the curse 
of all the professions jealousy. It destroys the spirit of brother- 
hood that ought to subsist between all. In a sense he considered 
the Pope was his brother, although he did not own him, but 
relationship did not depend upon his consent (applause). Truth 
was divided among the sects, and he was so convinced of the 
divine economy of divisions that he would not, if he had the 
power, destroy any of them. They came together by elective 
affinity, and each had some great, element of truth that perhaps 
none of the others had (applause). Truth was so vast that it was 
not given to any one man or any set of men to tell the whole of 
it. It took each to tell his own side, and then the whole was not 
told. Ages to come must correct past ages (applause). 

Mr Alex. Macdonald proposed the toast of the Press, to which 
Mr D. K. Clark, of the Inverness Courier, replied. 

Mr William Mackay, solicitor, proposed the toast of the Chief 
of the Society The Mackintosh who, in the words of his tele- 
gram, was present with them in spirit that evening (applause). 
The toast was drunk with Highland honours. Mr Mackay then 
gave the toast of the Chairman, which was enthusiastically 
responded to. 

Colonel Alexander Ross proposed the health of their excellent 
and energetic Secretary and Treasurer, Mr Duncan Mackintosh, 



Annual Dinner. 89 

Bank of Scotland -(applause). The very pleasant evening which 
they had enjoyed was in a great measure due to him. He had 
brought to bear an amount of ability and zeal in the affairs of the 
Society which was really surprising. He was quite satisfied that 
the business part of the Society was never better conducted than 
it is now in his hands (applause). Mr Mackintosh briefly 
replied, stating that no re\\ ard would give him- greater satisfaction 
than the splendid gathering they had that evening. 

Mr Colin Chisholm proposed the toast of the Croupiers, both 
of whom replied, and the proceedings thereafter terminated. 

During the evening songs were given by several gentlemen, 
and Colonel Gostwyck Gard and Captain Chisholm, Glassburn, 
played some excellent pipe music, to which several gentlemen 
enjoyed a dance. Pipe-Major Ferguson of the 1st Volunteer Bat- 
talion Cameron Highlanders, played appropriate pipe music during 
the dinner and between the toasts. 



23rd JANUARY, 1889. 

A meeting was held on this date for the purpose of nominating 
office-bearers for 1889. All the business having been transacted, 
the meeting assumed the form of a Highland " Ceilidh," when a 
most pleasant evening was passed. 



30th JANUARY, 1889. 

On this date the meeting was devoted to the election of office- 
bearers for 1889. The following gentlemen were duly elected 
members of the Society, viz. : Mr Donald Fraser of Millburn, 
life-member ; and Mr James Ross, solicitor, Inverness, ordinary 
member. 



6th FEBRUARY, 1889. 

At this meeting Mr John Macphereon, Inverguseran, was elected 
a member of the Society. Thereafter, Mr Alex. Macbain, M.A., 
on behalf of Mr Hector Maclean, Islay, read a paper, entitled, 
" The Races from which the Modern Scottish Nation has been 
Evolved." Mr Maclean's paper was as follows : 



90 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

THE RACES FROM WHICH THE MODERN SCOTTISH 
NATION HAS BEEN EVOLVED. 

The science of anthropology has advanced with remarkably 
rapid steps during the last fifty years. At the early stage of the 
science it was generally supposed that conquering races almost 
entirely extirpated those which preceded them, and intermixed 
with the latter but little. The Lowland Scotch and English were 
supposed to be pure Saxons or Teutons, and the Scotch High- 
landers, Welsh, Irish, and French were considered to be mostly 
Kelts. It is now fully ascertained that every nation is a much 
blended race, and that even the physical peculiarities of the 
earliest races are to be observed among modern populations. The 
languages of nations have changed, but racial characteristics have 
survived the old dead tongues. In Arabia, four racial types have 
been pointed out ; but the Arabic, the speech of one of these four 
races, a Semitic tongue akin to Hebrew, replaced the languages of 
the other three races. The language of modern Armenia is an 
Aryan tongue introduced by its Iranian conquerors, but the pre- 
dominant type among the modern Armenians does not resemble 
that of the ancient Persian conquerors as represented on the 
ancient monuments ; but it resembles another represented upon 
them when the speech of Armenia was Vannic, a language akin to 
Akkadian, .Medic, and Elamite non-Semitic and non-Aryan 
ancient tongues. In an article in the November number of " The 
Journal of the Anthropological Institute," entitled "The Races of 
the Babylonian Empire," by G. Bertin, M.R.A.S., it is shown that 
the ancient Babylonian empire, extending from the Persian Gulf 
and the Red Sea, on the south, to the mountains of Armenia, in 
the north, and from the Mediterranean Sea, in the west, to the 
mountain range in the east, from Armenia to Persia, was inhabited 
by four races ; and that four racial types corresponding to these 
are still to be observed in all the countries which were anciently 
included in the Babylonian empire. The ancient monuments of 
Assyria, Babylonia, Syria, and Egypt, point out to us clearly that 
commixtures of races abounded in the world in pre-historic times- 
even in the least cultured portions of it. Races never intermix 
uniformly, for mixed breeds present individuals who resemble 
much more one type than the others from which they are derived,, 
hence by analytical investigation the characteristics of the original 
races may be ascertained. 



Modern Scottish Nation. 91 

Although races change their languages, the new languages 
which they have acquired are modified, through time, by their 
mental peculiarities. The majority of the Irish speak English, 
but the accent with which they speak it called the Irish, brogue 
by the English and Scotch is derived from the formerly spoken 
Irish tongue. The English dialects of Ireland contain numerous. 
words and phrases borrowed from the old speech of Erin ; yet the 
English blend introduced into the Irish population is but small in 
comparison with the old native share of the intermixture. The 
people of Cornwall are chiefly of old British descent, so the English 
dialect uf Cornwall contains numerous words and phrases derived 
from the Cornish language, and the names of the numerals in it, 
and the method of calculating by them, are still remembered by 
Cornishmen. The Aryan languages, Greek, Latin, Teutonic, and 
Slavonian, and Keltic, contain non-Aryan words, and an eminent 
scholar has lately shown that one half of the roots of the Greek 
tongue are non-Aryan. All these languages, albeit their words 
and inflections are cognate, yet their individual linguistic 
characters, as evolved phonetically through many centuries, are 
entirely distinct, and point strongly towards racial characteristics 
and peculiarities. The languages derived from Latin have, all of 
them, individual characters, which mark them out well from one 
another, and also from the Latin mother tongue. As are the 
modern Italian, French, and Spanish nations, distinct mixed races 
derived from several older ones in variable proportions, so are the 
tongues that they speak. The Italian, smooth and musical ; the 
French, soft, easy, graceful, and conversational ; and the Spanish, 
lofty and majestic. The Anglic dialect of the Lowlands of Scot- 
land differs much in character from English ; Mr A. Ellis in his 
" Essentials of Phonetics," tells us that if we do not count the 
nasal vowels in French, the Scotch has as many in proportion to 
its consonants as the former tongue. So, in this respect, Scotch 
resembles the languages of Southern Europe, and the Keltic 
languages, all of which have a large number of vowel sounds in 
proportion to consonantal sounds. The fact is that races 
assimilate languages to themselves, from whatever quarter they 
have obtained them, as eagles, ravens, kites, and crows, convert 
the flesh of the birds whereon they prey into their own flesh. 
Such has been the case with old Aryan dialects in the mouths of 
Greeks, Romans, Teutons, Kelts, and Slavonians \ and such has 
been the case with Italy, Gaul, and Spain, after the fall of the 
Roman Empire. 

As we take an ethnological view of the people of Scotland from 
north to south, and from west to east, without thinking of the two 



92 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

different languages spoken in the country, we learn that there is 
not a physical human type found in the Highlands that is not met 
with in the Lowlands ; only that some types are more frequent in 
the Highlands than in the Lowlands, and others more frequent in 
the Lowlands than in the Highlands. The types vary in different 
counties and in different districts. The peasantry of the south- 
east of Scotland resemble those of Northern England ; they are 
seemingly muscular, large, and tall, and they have broader heads, 
rounder figures and features than their countrymen in the West 
and North. They have generally very fair complexions, blue or 
light grey eyes, and their hair varies from light red to flaxen 
yellow, through divers shades of brown. The prominent over- 
hanging eyebrows, so common in the Highlands, are less so in 
south-eastern Scotland, and the eyes are less sunken. The fore- 
head and chin are rounded, and the nose, which is rather short 
than long, tends to straightness. The south-east of Scotland 
formed part of the kingdom of Northumbria until the reign of 
Kenneth the Third of Scotland, when it was added to Scotland, 
but on condition that the inhabitants were to retain their own 
laws and languages. The Anglian population was afterwards 
increased by fugitives from the north of England after the Norman 
conquest. The type is Anglian chiefly. Mr D. Mackintosh, 
F.G.S., F.E.S., in his article in the " Transactions of the Ethno- 
logical Society of London," entitled " Results of Ethnological 
Observations made in England and Wales," says " In the county 
of Durham the existence of a fair and tall race, not Scandinavian, 
and apparently superimposed on the British population, would 
lead one to suppose that there is an Anglian type distinct from 
Saxon, and probably standing mid-way between Saxon and Dane. 
This type, the detailed characteristics of which I am not prepared 
to state, is found not only in Durham, but in the south-east of 
Scotland, in the district marked Germau in Dr Kombst's map, and 
scattered over the east-central districts of England."' Vol. I. New 
Series, pp. 219-220. Mr Mackintosh has pointed out several 
varieties of the Teutonic race in England, such as the Saxon, 
Frisian, Jutian, Dane, and Norwegian ; llso Keltic types, which 
he calls Gaelic and Cymbrian. Here is Jlis description of what he 
calls the Saxon type in England " Light brown hair or flaxen, 
rather broad semi-circular forehead, nearly semi-circular eyebrows, 
blue or bluish grey and prominent eyes, nearly straight nose of 
moderate length, rather short broad face, low cheekbones, 
excessively regular features, flat ears, head of a form between a 
short parallelogram and a round form, figure smooth and free 



Modern Scottish Nation. 93 

from projections, fingers, hands, arms, and legs short, more or less 
tendency to obesity, especially in the epigastric region, in extreme 
cases giving rise to what is provincially called a corporation, 
moderate stature." These characteristics are considerably different 
from those of the Anglian, Dane, Norseman, or Kelt. Keltic 
characteristics are very observable in the population of Edinburgh. 
Black hair, and black or dark brown eyes are remarkably frequent, 
but every variety of Scottish features may be studied in this city. 

The peasantry of Galloway are a very athletic people, equal- 
ling or perhaps exceeding in stature the inhabitants of the south- 
east of Scotland. The predominant cast of features is elongated, 
the face is of a long, narrow, oval form. It is sometimes of a 
pentagonal form, owing to the narrowness of the chin and 
prominence of the cheek-bones, the nose is long and frequently 
aquiline, the eyes are grey or blue, the hair is generally brown, 
and often of a dark shade. The people of Ayr do not differ much 
from those of Galloway, but there, more frequently than in Gallo- 
way, a physiognomy and complexion have been observed nearly 
resembling those of the southern Irish ; blue, grey, and black eves, 
hair frequently dark, and even jet black, seldom red, but often of 
a fine bright yellow. About Dumfries and Castle-Douglas, as the 
names, complexions, and features indicate, a mixed population of 
Galwegians and Teutonic borderers. 

Dr Beddoe thinks that squarish narrow foreheads, eyes rather 
deep in the head, broad, prominent, cheek-bones, and narrow 
angular chins, constitute the peculiarly Scotch cast of features. 
He is of opinion that these are rather prevalent in Kirkcaldy ; but 
he tells us that "further to the east, and especially at Anstruther, 
Pittenweem, Arbroath, and perhaps Brechin and Dysart, another 
type prevails ; figure balkier, but not taller, face rounded, or 
sometimes squarish, from breadth of lower jaw, which does not 
form an angular chin, cheek-bones not so much marked, forehead 
smooth and rounded, eyes not unfrequently hazel, with light eye- 
lashes, complexion, (fee., generally light throughout this division, 
except, perhaps, in the old city of Brechin. Red hair particularly 
common at Perth, Arbroath, Kirkcaldy, and Dysart. I have 
reason to think that I have over-rated the proportion of black 
hair in Angus " (A contribution to Scottish Ethnology, by John 
Beddoe, B.A., M.D., p. 17).' Dr Beddoe informs us that in 
approaching Aberdeen from the side of Inverness, he was struck 
with the breadth and roundness of the faces in many of the 
inhabitants, but that no such idea had occurred to him when he 
had visited Aberdeen on his return from Orkney and Caithness ; 



94: Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

that such of the peasantry whom he saw were mostly stout-built 
men, not being tall, but broad and burly ; that fair complexions 
and light eyes were almost universal ; but that hair of a darkish 
brown was not seldom conjoined ; that flaxen was more common 
than yellow hair ; and that red hair was also frequent (Ibid. p. 19). 

We are told by him, also, that his tables show that he did not 
find black hair at all confined to particular districts ; that it 
appeared to be common in all parts of the Highlands, as compared 
with those parts of England, and the Scottish Lowlands where the 
population is supposed to be pretty purely Teutonic ; that it is 
also common in the borders of Galloway ; that in Ayrshire where 
hair of a clear bright yellow seems very common, that which is 
coal black is not much less so ; that in Kintail black hair is 
singularly common, but that the proportion of fair hair (chiefly 
yellowish) is above the average ; that red hair is more frequent in 
Marr than in any other district he had visited, and that here too 
a coal black hue is very common (Ibid. p. 26). 

It may be remarked that there are many shades of red hair ; 
that there are two kinds of red hair in Scotland the one a Keltic, 
and the other a Teutonic, characteristic ; the former is a bright or 
orange red, and the other a light or yellow red, called in Gaelic 
buidhe-ruadh ; among the Catfres a rusty kind of red hair is 
occasionally observed, and I learn from a friend in New Zealand 
that the same kind of hair abounds among the Maoris. " I may 
perhaps be allowed to point out," Dr Beddoe tells us, " that the 
'rutilae comae' of the Caledonians are still remarkably and 
uniformly common throughout the whole region, Highland and 
Lowland, from the Forth to the Don, and even to the Moray 
Firth, but decidedly rare throughout the Highland country that 
stretches conterminously with it on the west" (Ibid. p. 31). 

Red hair is not characteristic of Germany at the present day, 
for it is fair hair flaxen straw colour, or flaxen yellow that 
distinguishes the Germans of our day from the most of other 
European nations, as it does also Norwegians, Swedes, and Danes. 
Norwegian hair and features are easily pointed out in the Hebrides, 
Caithness, Sutherland, and the Western Coast of the mainland of 
Scotland, from Sutherland to Argyllshire. And we leam from 
other writers that it was not characteristic of Germany in Tacitus's 
time, for other old writers inform us that they were fair-haired 
then as now. 

" I will now state," Dr Beddoe observes, " what are the com- 
plexional characters I have been led to attribute to the two great 
ethnological sections of Britons, as at present existing. 



Modern Scottish Nation. 95 

" 1. Celtic Race Eyes grey or blue, passing through dark grey 
and dark green into brown and black ; eyelashes dark. Hair 
bright red or yellow, passing through various shades of brown, 
generally bright and tinged with red or yellow, into dark brown 
and coal black. 

"2. Teutonic Race Eyes blue or grey, passing through 
greenish grey, yellow, and hazel, into brown ; eyelashes light. 
Hair light red, flaxen or flaxen yellow, passing through various 
shades of generally dull brown, into a very dark hue, but not into 
coal black" (Ibid" p. 29). 

The Kelts were not, as it was at one time supposed, the first 
inhabitants of Western Europe ; a succession of other races 
preceded them in Gaul, Spain, and Britain. The name Keltoi or 
Oeltae was never applied by any of the classical writers to any of 
the old tribes of the British Isles. Learned men in the last 
century ascertained by observation and study of the classical 
writers that the peoples of ancient Britain and Ireland were akin 
to the Gauls or Kelts, and that t.ieir languages wore cognate. 
Much light has been thrown upon this subject within the last 
fifty years both by scholars and ethnologists. The Celtae of 
Caesar's time were clearly a mixed race, and were not identical 
with the tall yellow-haired Gauls described by Livy and other 
ancient historians as invaders of Rome at an early period of Roman 
history. The fact is, the Keltic conquerors of the territories now 
named France, Belgium, North-Western Italy, and Switzerland, 
were small in numbers as compared with the conquered, with 
whom they gradually intermixed and became one people. The 
same was the case in the British Isles, but here the blending was 
slower, and was not complete in Scotland till the time of the 
Scandinavian invasions. The Picts are now ascertained to have 
been a pre-Keltic people, who were gradually intermixed with the 
Kelts, and were ultimately united with the Scots. 

The Kelts of the British Isles consist of two great divisions 
the one. the Welsh, Cornish, aud Bretons, whose dialects are 
closely allied ; and the other, the Irish, the Manks, and the 
Scottish Highlanders, whose dialectal differences are much less 
considerable than those of the former group. Seas, rivers, and 
mountains, by interrupting communication between people whose 
speech is the same, tend to give rise to dialectal variations, and 
the expanse of the Irish Sea will, to a great extent, account 
for the differences between Irish and the languages of Wales and 
Cornwall. The proximity of Ireland to North Britain would lead 
us to think that the British of North Britain should be closely 



96 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

allied to the Irish of Ulster, at the time that the Dalriadic Scots 
settled in the Highlands, and that it would not take long for 
Britons and Scots to make themselves intelligible to one another. 

Kelt seems to me a preferable name to Celt ; for in the time of 
Csesar the Latin C was equivalent to K before e and i, and Celtae 
was pronounced Keltae ; and there is the Keltoi of the Greeks. 
Professor Rhys supposes that the name means warriors, and that 
the origin of it is probably the same as that of the old Norse hildr, 
war, battle (Celtic Britain, p. 2). With this derivation I entirely 
disagree. This name seems to me to be cognate with ceile, which 
signifies, in Gaelic, friend, comrade, or companion. From it is 
derived the modern Gaelic ceilidh, a visit, or visiting ; ceilteach, 
given to visiting; ceilteach, a person who is fond of visiting. 
Celtae or Keltoi, therefore, meant friends, companions, or comrades 
in the ancient tongue of the Kelts. The other name by which 
they were known, Galli, according to Professor Rhys, meant war- 
riors or brave men (Ibid., p. 2) ; but I do not accept this explana- 
tion. There is the Gaelic word gal, valour, from which there are 
many derivatives ; but there is also the old Gaelic gal, which has 
become now gaol, denoting kindred. Gaol now means love, albeit 
it formerly signified persons of the same family, clan, or tribe. 
Gaol is given in Llwyd's Archeeologia Britannica as Gaelic for the 
Latin gens, and in the same work occurs Ftargoil, a kinsman ; 
Braihair gaoil, a man of the same tribe or clan. Previous to the 
time of Csesar, and before the Roman conquest of Spain, when 
Kelts were settled in regions wide apart, such as portions of Spain, 
Germany, and Asia Minor, Galli or Galatse would be an appropriate 
name for the whole race, and Kelts for any branch of them that 
lived together within the bounds of the same territory ; for these 
were companions or comrades. The name has blended 
with the names of Iberi, Ligures, and Scythse ; so we have 
Celtiberi in Spain ; the Celtoscythse, according to Strabo, in 
Scythia, in which he included Germany, and Tacitus speaks of the 
language of the Aestii, who were situated to the east of the Baltic, 
as being more analogous to the British than to the Suevic ; and 
the Celto-Ligures in the south-east of Gaul. Dr Whitley Stokes, 
in his Celtic Declension (Transactions of the Philological Society, 
1885, p. 105), gives the declension of cele, " companion," W. cilydd, 
protoceltic cello's, and classifies it in Masculine Stems in lo. Dr 
P. W. Joyce, in his edition' of Book I., Part I., of Keating's History 
of Ireland (p. 38-37), translates gaol by relationship ; "agus fos 
gach druinge dwbh rein le cheile" " and also the relationship of 
each people of these same with each other." 



Modern Scottish Nation. 97 

In speaking of the Kelts, Professor Rhys says : " Roughly 
speaking, however, one may say that the whole Celtic family was 
made up of two branches or groups, the Goidelic group and the 
Gallo-Brythonic one ; and as Gaulish is long since dead, every Celt 
of the United Kingdom is, so far as language is concerned, either a 
Goidel or a Brython. The Goidels were undoubtedly the first 
Celts to come to Britain, as their geographical position to the west 
and north of the others would indicate, as well as the fact that 110 
trace of them on the Continent can now be identified. They had 
probably been here for centuries when the Brythones, or Gauls, 
came and drove them westward" (Celtic Britain, p. 4). 

There is not the slightest proof that the first Kelts who arrived 
in Britain were called by themselves Goidels. Among all the tribe 
names of the ancient inhabitants of Great Britain there is none 
which can be identified with the name of Goidel. We know 
nothing of the name in Britain previous to the appearance of the 
Scots from Ireland in 360. We learn from Irish history that the 
Scots seized upon portions of Wales and settled there. Professor 
Rhys brings forward ingenious arguments to prove that the Goidels 
of Wales were the remains of the ancient Kelts of Britain, in order 
to confirm his own theory but these arguments are invalid. 
Guyddel, the Welsh equivalent of Goidel, is the Welshman's name 
for an Irishman, and there is little reason to doubt that the Welsh 
always considered the Goidels of Wales to be of Irish descent. The 
distinguished Professor Zimmer, of Germany, accepts the statement 
of the Irish chroniclers as fact that the Scots made settlements 
in North and South Wales. In the Archaeological Review for 
October, 1888, in the article "Celtic Myth and Saga," by Alfred 
Nutt (p. 138), the following passage occurs : " Professor Zimmer 
points out that early Irish history falls into three periods, the first 
reaching from pre-historic times to about the year 350 A.D., the 
second to the end of the 7th century, and the third to the begin- 
ning of the llth century. No external activity regarding the 
Irish is recorded during the first period ; the second, on the 
contrary, witnesses the harrying of the coasts of Britain, the 
establishment of the kingdom of Dalriada, and the settlements in 
North and South Wales ; whilst the third period is filled by the 
wars with the Northmen invaders." 

That the first Keltic invaders of Britain would have come over 
the narrowest portion of sea from Gaul to the South-east, there 
need not be any hesitation in accepting; but, as the Kelts 
increased and extended inti Spain arid Germany, it is probable 
that they invaded Britain from various parts of Gaul, and even 

7 



98 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

from Germany at successive periods. South-west Britain and Ire- 
land may have been first invaded by Kelts from North-western 
Gaul, and from Spain, before the Keltic occupiers of the east and 
south-east of Britain had succeeded in subduing the non-Keltic 
tribes to the west and south-west of them. It would seem that 
the oldest name by which the Kelts of Ireland called themselves 
was Fene, and the old Irish or Gaelic language is named Belre 
Fene. Belre, which anciently denoted language has changed to 
Beurla, and is now understood to denote the English language. The 
word Feine signifies a farmer, a ploughman, a champion ; in fact, one 
of the people. There is reason to think that it is akin to fine, a 
tribe or clan ; for it also signifies a generation. Feineachas denotes 
the code of Irish laws, judgments, history, genealogy. In Fiacc's 
hymn, which gives a short biography of St Patrick, the Kelts of 
Ireland are designated fene 

" Pridchais trifichte bliadan croich crist dothuataib fene." 

" He preached (for) three score years Christ's Cross to the pagans 
of (the) Feni" (Stokes' Goidelica, pp. 127, 131). The name Goidel 
appears to me to have been first given to the ruling military clans, 
and that subsequently it became common to all the Keltic people 
of Ireland. When this had happened the ruling clans designated 
themselves Clanna Milidh ; literally, the soldier or warrior "clans. 
The words clann and milidh are both loan words from the Latin. 
The Latin planta was made into clann at a time when the Goidels 
found a difficulty in pronouncing p, as is the case with other early 
loan words from the Latin ; milidh is from the stem milit of the 
Latin miles, a soldier. After the Goidelic Kelts had been 
thoroughly amalgamated with all the pre-Keltic tribes, Goidel 
became a general name for an Irishman ; and, at the present day, 
a Gaelic-speaking Irishman calls himself Gaoidkeal, and a Gaelic 
Scotchman calls himself Gaidheal. Both these forms, which are 
derived from Goidel, differ but little from each other ; and, in both, 
the dh is silent, while the d was pronounced in Goidel. In the 
Welsh name for an Irishman, Gwyddel, also derived from Goidel, 
the medial d becomes dd, which, in Welsh, is equivalent to th in 
wither. 

The Scots are first mentioned by Roman writers about the 
year 360. They fought in alliance with the Picts against the 
Romans. The fighting men of all countries in past times, when 
they invaded a country foreign to them, usually designated them- 
selves by a name in their own language denoting warriors. This 
.was the case with the Goidels in Britain. Scoth, in old Irish, sig- 






Modern Scottish III at ion. 99 

nifies warrior (O'Daveron's Glossary, in Stokes Three Irish Glos- 
saries, p. 115), and Scothi the Goidels, fighting with the Romans, 
called themselves ; whence the Roman name for them, Scoti, and 
the Roman name for Ireland, after their appearance in Britain, 
Scotia. This name was transferred to modern Scotland in the 
tenth century. By that time the Scots and Picts had become one 
people. At the end of the tenth centnry, what was once the 
kingdom of Strathclyde and Galloway were added to the Scotch 
kingdom, and, in the beginning of the eleventh century, the 
northern portion of that which was formerly the kingdom of 
Northumbria was also added. Scotland then extended to the 
Tweed and the Solway Firth. Gaelic being the language of the 
old Scots, it was spoken much further east than it is now. It was 
the language of Galloway, where it was not entirely extinct, even 
in the reign of Charles I. It was intrusive in Ayrshire, Renfrew- 
rhire, and Dumfriesshire, wherein innumerous Gaelic place-names 
are found. The monasteries in the south of Scotland from the 
sixth to the end of the tenth century were filled with Irish monks, 
and large numbers of their lay countrymen came over with them 
to cultivate the land attached to the monasteries, and do other ser- 
vices. So Gaelic place-names are found here and there in the 
south-eastern counties, such as Melrose (Maol-rois, smooth-topped 
hill of the promontory or of the peninsula). There is reason to 
think that all the invers in the east of Scotland were substituted 
for abers by Goidels, and that pei, the Pictish equivalent for the 
Gaelic baile, a to \vnland name, which is so rare in the north- 
western counties, and so frequent in the north-eastern, has disap- 
peared in the north-west on account of this part of the country 
being sooner occupied by the Scots than the north-east. 

It is shown now by the investigations of scholars and scientists 
that the Picts were a pre-Keltic people. There is no ground for 
accepting the explanation of their name given by Roman writers 
that they were so called because they painted themselves. As 
inheritance went in the female line, the husbands of heiresses, 
who were frequently of foreign origin, became influential among 
them. Princesses married the sons of British or Irish kings, who 
became Pictish kings after the deaths of their fathers-in-law. 
Owing to proximity of position, the northern Picts intermixed, at 
an early period, with Irish Kelts, and the Southern Picts with 
British Kelts. Long before the settlement of the Dalriadic Scots 
in the Highlands, the Picts were much intermixed with Scots or 
Goidels ; and no doubt their speech was much blended with 
Gaelic. There is extremely little of the Pictish language pre- 



100 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

served only a few words known as such ; but future research 
among the dialects and sub-dialects of Albanic Gaelic may yet 
throw light on this interesting, but obscure topic. 

In the lists of the names of the Pictish kings, the forms of the 
names are very unlike the forms of Keltic names, either Brythonic 
or Goidelic. Brude appears to have been a kingly name bestowed 
on the king, along with his own proper name. In one list of 
Pictish kings (Skene's Chronicles of the Picts and Scots, p. 3) 
Brude occurs joined to another name twenty-seven times. Again, 
the consonant p, so alien to old Goidelic names, is remarkably 
frequent. Mr Hyde Clarke calls "Brude a Pictish kingly title," 
in his paper, "The Picts and Pre-Celtic Britain" (published in 
" The Transactions of the Royal Historical Society") ; identifies 
Brude with Prytanis, the name of a king of Sparta, with Proteus, 
the name of a king of Egypt, and with Protus, the name, accord- 
ing to Plutarch, of the founder of Massilia, now Marseilles ; also 
with Prsetus, the name of a king of Argos. " It is possible," he 
says, " that Brutus, who expelled the Tarquins or Tarkon from 
Rome, was himself of royal stock, and that the name has nothing 
to do with the term Brutus, as Brute, but expressed the kingly 
title." He identifies Drust with Otreus, the name of a king of 
Phrygia, with Atreus, the name of a king of Mycenae, with 
Eurystheus, the name of a king of Argos, with Asturias, the name 
of a king of Crete, with Astrseus, the name of a king of Arcadia ; 
again, with a closer form, Adrastus, the name of a king of Argos,. 
of a king of Sicyon, of the father of Eurydice, who married Ilos, 
King of Troy, of a Phrygian prince of the time of Croesus, King 
of Lydia. He also identifies Thrasydaeus, the name of a king of 
Thessaly, with Drust, and mentions Adrastia as the name of a 
country near Troy. He considers Talargan to be identical with 
Telegonus, the name of two kings of Egypt, and of a king of the 
Greek Islands ; and with Telkhis, the name of an early king of 
Peloponnesus ; also with Thelxion and Telkhines, names of chiefs 
of Rhodes. All these names Mr Hyde Clarke views as kingly 
titles. And he observes that "Although the several names 
figure in Greek books, and are commonly represented as Greek, 
they are to be accounted for as transliterations of names in earlier 
languages rendered into various Greek dialects. These dialects 
were not always capable of reproducing the original sounds ; the 
sh was oue of these difficulties. It is found in Hebrew for 
Canaanite names, but in Greek it is supplied by sk, ks, <fcc. It 
must, therefore, be expected that we shall find variety of forms 
in the Greek renderings. Besides, the syllables in Iberian are 



Modern Scottish Nation. 101 

capable of transposition, and I and r were not always dis- 
tinguished." 

Irish writers, following the opinions of classical authors, 
explained their own name for them, Cruithnigh, by tracing it to 
crut/i, form or figure, and inferred that they were so named 
because they painted a variety of figures on their bodies ; but the 
name Cruithnigh is derived from Cruithin, and Cruithin is a 
transformation of Prydyn, made at a time when the Goidels 
replaced p by hard c, when pluma, a small soft feather, was 
converted into clum, now cldimh, meaning down and also wool, 
pallium into caille, a veil, and planta into clann, children, a clan. 
The Picts and other peoples of North Britain transformed the 
ancient name Britannia into Prydyn, as the people of South 
Britain modified it into Prydain, so the South Britons understood 
Prydyn to denote North Britain. The Goidels called it Cruithin 
tuath, by whose writers we are informed that it was the country 
of the Picts. The Cruithnigh of Ireland were therefore a colony 
of Picts from North Britain; but as the same pre Keltic race 
abounded in Ireland, great confusion pervades the early history of 
this people as transmitted to us by Irish writers. 

How far the Caledonians were pure Kelts, or a commixture of 
Keltic and pre-Keltic people, it is extremely difficult to decide, for 
unluckily we have not the names of any of them recorded, except 
Galgacus, the name of their commander at the battle of the 
Grampians, and Argentocox, the name of a queen of theirs, at a 
much later period. According to the best Keltologists, the best 
reading of Ggjgacus is Calgacus, which corresponds to a Keltic 
Calgacos. Such would have been the ancient form of the old Irish 
name Calgach, which name formed part of the old name of London- 
derry in the days of St Columba it was then named Doire 
Calgach, Oakwood of Calgach. The other name, Argentocox, is in 
modern Gaelic Airgiod-chos, in which cos means foot, leg, and 
thigh. The weapons of the Caledonians at the battle of the 
Grampians long swords and small shields in this respect 
resembling those of the ancient Gauls, would indicate that those 
who fought in the battle were chiefly Keltic, but the name 
Caledonia is not Keltic ; and all attempts to explain it by Gaelic 
or Welsh derivations have signally failed, and hardly any words of 
their language have come down to us, and if there are continuators 
of any words of their speech in modern Albanic Gaelic, it is yet to 
be ascertained. I believe, myself, there are such continuators, 
and that future diligent research will discover them. The name 
Caledonia, like Britannia and Hibernia, is an Iberian name. The 



102 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

ancient Iberians not only inhabited Spain, but preceded the Kelts 
in Gaul and the British Isles, and the Teutons in Germany. At 
page 9 of " The Iberian and Belgian Influence and Epochs in 
Britain," by Hyde Clarke, F.R. Hist. Soc., it is stated that 
" Caledonia is shown by its termination to be an Iberian name," 
and at p. 4 Idem., Mr Hyde Clarke tells us " At a later period 
during my investigations for Khita decipherment, the word Nia 
came out a distinctive word for country land. This we find in 
Britannia, Hibernia, Sardinia, Hispania, Lusitania, Acquitania, 
Mauritania, Tyrrhenia, Lucania, Sikania, Makedonia, Lakonia, 
Messenia, Acarnania, Carmania, Armenia, Germania, Paionia, 
Albania, Babylonia, Hyrcania." 

It would appear that after the battle of the Grampians the 
Kelts had lost the dominant power among the Caledonians, which 
they had probably first obtained as mercenary troops among the 
pre-Keltic tribes. Dion Cassius, who flourished in the third 
century, speaks of two nations, the Caledonii and the Maeatae, in 
North Britain, which exactly correspond to the Northern and 
Southern Picts of later times. He informs us that the Maeatae 
dwelt near the Roman wall, and the Caledonii beyond them ; that 
they are addicted to robbery, fight in chariots, and have little 
swift horses ; that their infantry are remarkable for speed in 
running, and for firmness in standing ; that their armour consists 
of a shield and a short spear, in the lower end of which is a brazen 
apple, whose sound when struck may terrify the enemy. " They 
have also daggers." (See Brown's "History of the Highlands," 
vol. I. p. 13), It will be observed that these were differently 
armed from the Caledonians who fought the Romans under the 
Grampians. The weapons are short spears and daggers. Large 
shields and small swords were the armour and weapons of the 
Iberians. The blended descendants of the Keltic and pre-Keltic 
Caledonians also combined their armour and weapons the target 
and claymore and dirk. 

The national and tribal names of ancient peoples were, in the 
greatest number of cases, derived from words signifying man, and 
such appears to me to be the case with Maeatae a name which is 
at a later period found in the forms Miati and Miathi, in 
Adamnan's " Life of St Columba." Mae in the former and Mi in 
the latter denote man. We have mies, meaning man, in Finnish ; 
and in the non-Aryan languages of India and High Asia we have 
mi, in Tibetan ; mi, in Serpa and Murmi in Nepal ; mi, Lhopa, 
N.E. Bengal; mi, Mithan Naga, Eastern Frontier of Bengal (the 
" Non-Aryan Languages of India and High Asia," bv W. W. 
Hunter, p. 139). 



Modern Scottish Nation. Io3 

According to Irish legendary history, four colonisations of Ire- 
land took place before the arrival of the so-called Milesians from 
Spain otherwise the people named Feni. This name may be 
identified with Veneti, the name of a people in the north-west of 
Gaul, who were powerful by sea, and who made a more gallant 
stand against Ca3sar than any of the other Gaulish tribes. The 
f.mr colonies that preceded them Partholan and his followers, the 
children of Nemhidh, the Firbolg, and the Tuatha Do Danann 
were non-Keltic. Irish writers have considered the Firbolg, 
Belgae ; but Professor Rhys says (at p. 276 of his " Celtic Britain," 
about the Belga.e) "Neither the people nor its name had any- 
thing whatever to do with the Irish Firbolg." As regards the 
Belgae of Cresar's time, this is partly correct ; for the old Belgae 
were intermixed with Kelts and Teutons ; nevertheless, there is 
little reason to doubt that the old pre-Aryan Belgae and the Irish 
Firbolg were the same in race. Mr Hyde Clarke remarks (at p. 3 
of his " Notes on the Ligurians, Acquitanians, and Belgians") that 
"the names of tribes are preserved under great difficulties, as 
stated by me in my Pre-historic Comparative Philology and 
Mythology, and such names have been observed in many cases to 
signify man in the local language of the population ;" and at p. 8 
of the same work he informs us that " the general name of 
Belgian, like that of Ligurian, is recognisable. It is man as in 
other cases." 

The name Fir holy, then, consists of two parts ; the first part 
Fir, men, is a Gaelic gloss on the second part bolg, which tells 
us that bolg, like Belgae, denotes men. 

The second part of the name Fir bolg, not being Keltic, the 
Irish Kelts confounded it with the word bolg, a bag, in their own 
language. Hence arose the legend of the men of the bags, whom 
the Greeks subjected to slavery, and obliged to dig the earth, raise 
mould, and carry it in bags of leather. Many old Irish pre-Keltic 
names are similarly mi&understood and explained. The Firbolg, 
like the pre-Aryan Belgae, were an Iberian people, of moderate 
stature, dark-brown or black hair, and dusk-white skin. So the 
type modified by intermixture is still frequent among us. 

The Tuatha De Danann, who conquered the Firbolg, were, 
according to legendary history, tall and fair. They appear to 
have had more culture than the Kelts who conquered them, 
from what we learn from Irish chroniclers. Cultivating the soil, 
building of stone houses, and magic are ascribed to them which 
arts are also ascribed to the Picts. In a curious old poem, the 
Milesians, or Irish Kelts, are represented as making alliances with 



104 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

the inhabitants that preceded them, obtaining wives from the 
Tuatha De Danann, and not expelling them (Skene's " Celtic 
S3otlaiid," vol. 1., page 176). This is seemingly a true account of 
the settlement of the Kelts in Ireland. That there were two dis- 
tinct racial types in ancient Ireland, "one a high-statured, golden- 
coloured, or red-haired, fair-skinned, blue, or gray blue-eyed type ; 
the other a dark-haired, dark-eyed, pale-skinned, small or medium- 
statured, little-limbed type," we learn from Professor Sullivan's 
" Introduction to O'Curry's Lectures on Manners of Ancient Irish," 
p. 72. But light-grey eyes are frequent in Ireland, with dark hair 
and dusk-white skin, and in this respect Ireland contrasts with 
Wales. There is a strong resemblance between the TuatLa De 
Danann, described in the preceding quotation, and the red-haired, 
large-limbed Caledonians of Tacitus. 

The Irish Kelts seemed to have derived their eponyms from 
the races that preceded them. Eibhear and Eireamon, anglicised 
Heber and Herimon, are traced to the older form, Emer and Erem ; 
and th: latter appears to be formed by metathesis from the 
former. This name, Emer, therefore, it seems to me, may be 
identified with emeris in Gar-emeris, " the common Assyrian title 
of the district in which Damascus stood," and which, Professor 
Sayce tells us, is best explained as " the Gar of the Amorites " 
(Professor Sayce's "The Hittites," p. 14). At p. 15 of the same 
work, we are informed by Professor Sayce that the Hittites and 
Amorites were therefore mingled together in the mountains of 
Palestine like the two races which ethnologists tell us go to form 
the modern Kelt. But the Egyptian monuments teach us that 
they were of different origin and character. The Hittites were a 
people with yellow skins and Mongoloid features, whose receding 
forehead, oblique eye, and protruding upper jaws, are represented 
as faithfully on their own monuments as they are on those of 
Egypt, so that we cannot accuse the Egyptian artists of caricatur- 
ing their enemies. If the Egyptians have made the Hittites ugly 
it was because they were so in reality. The Amorites, on the 
contrary, were a . tall and handsome people. They are depicted 
with white skins, blue eyes, and reddish hair, all the characteristics, 
in fact, of the white race. Mr Petrie points out their resemblance 
to the Dardanians of Asia Minor, who form an intermediate link 
between the white-skinned tribes of the Greek seas and the fair- 
complexioned Libyan of Northern Africa,. The latter are still 
found in large numbers in the mountainous regions which stretch 
eastward from Morocco, and are usually known among the French 
under the name of Kabyles. The traveller who first meets with 



Modern Scottish Nation. 105 

them in Algeria cannot fail to be struck by their likeness to a cer- 
tain part of the population of the British Isles. Their clear, 
white, freckled skins, their blue eyes, their golden-red hair, and 
tall stature, remind him of the. fair Kelts of an Irish village ; and 
when we find that their skulls are of the so-called dolichocephalic 
or long-headed type, are the same as the skulls discovered in the 
prehistoric cromlechs of the country they still inhabit, we may 
conclude that they represent the modern descendants of the white- 
skinned Libyans of the Egyptian monuments. A fair-com- 
plexioned, blue-eyed type is still observable in Palestine, which no 
doubt represents the ancient Amorites. Long after the Israelitish 
conquest of Canaan this race abounded in Judah. Captives taken 
by Shishak from the southern cities of Judah, depicted on the 
walls of the temple of Karnak, in Egypt, exhibit Amorite, and 
not Jewish features. The Philistines were remains of the Amo- 
rites, and Goliath of Gath has had in Ireland, and in the Scottish 
Highlands, at various periods, kinsmen, so far as stature, haughti- 
ness, and unwariness are concerned. The Amorites were long in 
Palestine before the Hittites, and extended much further to the 
ast. The two races blended, and produced a mixed people. The 
Amorites were the same race, as proved by their physical charac- 
teristics, as the Libyans. This race is traced through Spain, the 
west of France, and the British Isles. It is remarkable that 
wherever this race has abounded it has been accompanied by a 
peculiar form of cromlech, and these cromlechs are found in 
Britain, in France, in Spain, in Northern Africa, and in Palestine, 
and the skulls which have been exhumed from them are the skulls 
of men of the long-headed type (Sayce's "The Hittites," p. 17). 

Ir appears to be a personified and contracted form of Iriu, 
land (O'Davoren's Glossary), and Sliochd Ir, the offspring of Ir, 
that is the offspring of the earth, was applied to them by the 
Kelts, as being the oldest inhabitants of Ireland. Irish scholars 
now identify them with the Picts. The Cruithnigh of Ireland 
merely differed from them in being a colony of Picts from North 
Britain, whence their name, as already explained. It is this colony 
that has caused so much confusion in old Irish history. 

Galloway, Argyllshire, Inverness-shire, Ross-shire, Sutherland, 
Murray, and Aberdeenshire, were pre-Keltic in Roman times. 
After the fall of the Roman Power in Britain the Pictish kingdom 
arose in North Britain and also the British kingdom of Strathclyde. 
The Scots, or Goidels, from Ireland, founded the kingdom of Dal- 
riada, and seized upon Galloway, the south of Ayrshire, and the 
west of Dumfriesshire. Gaelic supplanted the former language of 



106 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

these districts, and gradually became the speech of south-western 
Scotland, and of the whole of Scotland north of the Forth and the 
Clyde. Cruithnech, Pict, was a living name in the twelfth century, 
as we learn from the " Book of Deir ;" but there is reason to think 
that it was entirely obsolete in the thirteenth, as the two peoples 
Gaidhil and Cruithnich (Scots and Picts) were so blended into 
one that there was no longer any distinction between them. I 
am of opinion that there was a fringe of Norse settlers along the 
coasts of Forfarshire, Kincardineshire, and Aberdeenshire, who 
remained in the country, and spoke Norse after these districts had 
been recovered from the Norsemen, and that a dialect of Norse 
was spoken in Caithness after it had ceased to be under the sway 
of Norway. This would account for the rapid spread of English 
north of the Firth of Forth, because English and Norse are kin- 
dred tongues, and the words of Norse origin in the Anglic dialect 
of Scotland are much more numerous than in English. 
When English became the court language of Scotland, in the reign 
of Malcolm Canmore, it became the interest of all to acquire it, so 
that its spread westwards in the north of Scotland does not at all 
imply the recession of the old race westwards. The same mav 
be said with respect to the -south-west of Scotland. 

We have to observe that the Hebrides and a large portion of 
the mainland of the Highlands were occupied by the Norwegians. 
The same may be said of Galloway and of the east of Scotland. 
We have the same ingredients blended in different proportions in 
the commixture of races that constitute the Scottish nation 
Iberian or pre-Keltic races, Kelts, Scandinavians, and Angles ; but 
no Saxons, for Sasunnach is never applied to the Scottish Low- 
lands ; he is called Gall, a foreign settler. The Saxons settled in 
the south of England, and were, of course, like the Angles, a, 
variety of the Teutonic race. The Scotch are one mixed race not 
two ; but consisting of two divisions the one Gaelic-speaking and 
the other Anglic-speaking. 

Let us study the pedigrees of the Highland chiefs, and we 
shall see how much Highland blood is intermixed with Lowland 
blood ; and let us make research into the genealogy of the Low- 
land barons and gentry, and we shall learn how much Lowland 
blood is blended with Highland blood. 



Sutherland Place Names. 107 



12th FEBRUARY, 1889. 

At the meeting on this date, the Secretary read a paper 
contributed by Mr John Mackay, Hereford, on " Sutherland 
Place Names." Mr Mackay's paper was as follows : 

SUTHERLAND PLACE NAMES. 
PARISH OF ASSYNT. 

Returning to this interesting subject, as promised in a previous 
paper, it is now proposed to take each parish separately, beginning 
with Assynt, and proceeding round the coast till the circuit is. 
completed in Creich. Each of the parishes comprised in this 
circuit has the sea for one of its boundaries. It may be assumed 
that, along their coast lines and some -vhat inland, traces of Norse 
invasion and occupation would be found and met with, corro- 
borating tradition and history, giving ample evidence of the fact \ 
and were history silent upon the point, the record is unmistnke- 
ably written on the face of the land, more especially along the 
coast, and in the fertile valleys, where centres of population are 
first formed in all countries, in which minerals do not exist, or had 
not been discovered or worked, nor any oth'er industry, except the 
pastoral and agricultural. 

Sutherland was no exception to this recognised and general 
and natural law, that, on the sea coast and in river valleys, the 
original population would centre itself, then increase, gradually 
occupying to its full extent the coast plains, and extending inland 
ty the river sides, as far as the means of existence could be 
obtained, leaving the interior wastes of moor and mountain for 
summer grazings and hunting. 

The Norse in their invasions, no doubt predatory at first,, 
gradually obtained possession by superior force. They occupied 
the plains and those portions of the valleys nearer the coast which 
were more immediately productive, and more defensible from the 
sea, as the only line of communication with their base of operations, 
and afforded a sure line of retreat in the event of a successful native 
attack. They would either eject the natives, or keep them in 
subjection, like their brethren in Normandy and in England. 

With these possibilities and other facts, we may connect the 
absence of Norse place names in the interior of Sutherland and 
Caithness. A brief study of the map of these districts affords a 



108 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

commentary upon their history. A slight examination of their 
place names will make it abundantly evident that here we have 
history itself stamped on the coast, and few subjects of research 
are more interesting. 

The names of places, like tbose of streets of a town, are 
endowed with extraordinary vitality, frequently surviving the 
race or nation that imposed them, and often defying the accidents 
of conquest and of time, while furnishing information of an 
unexpected character. 

Of the very earliest inhabitants of Sutherland, previous to the 
Celts or Caledonian Picts, few or no traces are left in local names. 
The few presumed to be pre-Pictish, or Iberian, can readily be 
solved by old Gaelic terms now become obsolete. This pre-historic 
race, living by hunting and fishing, dwelling in caves arid woods, 
or on lake shores, was not likely to leave much behind it, other 
than a few relics, in caves or crannogs. Who these people were, 
who they might have been whether a race of Basques, or Iberians, 
or allied to Lapps and Finns must at best remain a matter of 
conjecture. 

That the Celts were differently constituted subjects, there is 
ample and abundant evidence, for they attained to a great degree 
of civilisation, leaving their footprints dispersed over Southern 
and Western Europe. In South Britain, neither Roman, Saxon, 
Dane, nor Norman has been able to obliterate them. There they 
still remain, incorporated in the common nomenclature of the 
country, on the coast, in the plain, in the river, on the mountain, 
as Avon (river) in several counties, Adour (dark water), Dover 
(dwfur, water), in Sussex, Dore (dwr, water) in Derby and Here- 
ford, Dor (water) in Dorset, as Axe, Exe, Esk, Usk, Ux (yse, W. ; 
uisge, G., water) river names, in various counties, Derwent 
{dwr, W., water; and gwent, W., high-landsdark water 
from high-lands) in Derby and York, Cam (crooked), Mor- 
cambe Bay (mor, big ; cambe, bend) in Lancashire, Dar 
(dwr, water ; gwen, bright) in Darwen, Lancashire ; in 
in Kent, Dartford (darent-ford) ; in Staffordshire, Dar-las-ton, Dar 
{dwr, water) (las, grey) (ton, Sax town), the town in the grey 
water ; Frith in Chapel- en-le frith, Derbyshire (frith, forest), the 
chapel in the forest ; Glen (gleann, narrow valley), in Glen 
Magna, Leicestershire ; Wey and Wye (gwi, W., water), in Surrey 
and Hereford. There are tors (hills) in Devon and Derby, and 
coombes (cwm, W., dingle), in Devon and Somerset, and many 
others in various disguises in almost every county in England, all 
of Celtic origin. It is equally the same in South-eastern Scotland, 
showing where the Saxon and the Dane had expelled the Celts. 



Sutherland Place Names. 109 

The Roman, Saxon, Dane, and Norman, by invasion and con- 
quest, have left their footprints, too, in the south, and so have, in 
the north, the fierce and warlike Norse rovers of nine centuries 
ago left theirs, in place names, as finger posts of history recording 
invasion and temporary conquest. 

Equally interesting it is to meet with other place names in the 
north which can only be defined by old Gaelic, or the Caledonian 
Gaelic of the Picts, who were the inhabitants of the country long 
anterior to the irruptions of the Norse, tending to prove in some 
measure that the language of the Caledonian Picts of North Britain 
has not been lost, though many of its words have become obsolete, 
but that it still remains in the nomenclature of the north intelligible 
to the Gaelic student. 

ASSTNT. 

It has been supposed that this parish name had been imposed 
upon the district by the configuration of its coast line, indented as 
it is by headlands and inlets of the sea, or by the aspect of its 
surface, alternately convex and concave, caused by its lofty moun- 
tains and deep valleys. To prove this supposition two Gaelic 
words have been hit upon. As (out) and innte (in), " out and in," 
as the origin and definition of the term Assynt, for the simple rea- 
son, possibly, that they very nearly represent the pronunciation 
of the word. In that case Assynt signifies " Out and in." 

In charters relating to this district, from 1225 to 1640, of our 
era, the word Assynt is spelled or written in a variety of ways. 
In 1455 it is " Assend," in 1509 it is " Assint," in 1600 it is 
" Assyin," in 1640 it assumes its modern form "Assynt." These 
differences may be ascribed to the unfixed orthography of the 
times. They are no doubt phonetic differences in pronunciations, 
and written at different times by different scribes, and probably 
from dictation. 

Tradition refers the origin of the term " Assynt " to two 
brothers, whose respective names were " Unt " and " As-unt," 
signifying, it is said, in the old statistical account of the parish in 
1793, Peace and Discord, who in very remote times fought for 
the mastery of the district. Unt was slain, and As-unt, proving 
victorious, obtained the mastery, and thenceforth gave it his name. 
The decisive combat took place, it is said, on a small plain in 
Lower Assynt (Mhan Assynt), since called Rhi-an-unt (Unt's 
field), where the unsuccessful warrior fell, and w;is buried. 

The more probable origin of the term, and parish name, may 
be assigned to the Norse word, " Asynte " (seen from afar), as the 



110 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

Norse rovers would do, from the Northern Ocean and the Minch, 
when sailing past the coast in their frequent expeditions to the 
Hebrideys and Sudereys, or viewing the district from the coasts of 
Lewis, which are directly opposite. The mountain tops of Assynt 
would be objects very conspicuous on the horizon, from the ocean 
or from Lewis, especially the tops of the Canisp, the Suilven, 
Glasven, Quinag, and Stack. The effect of mountains thus seen 
is always striking, because, towering aloft into the sky, it fills the 
imagination, as well as the eye. These mountain names can 
easily be defined by Norse, though in Sutherland and Caithness it 
is rarely found that the Norsemen ever imposed a permanent 
name upon an inland mountain, place, or river, yet in Assynt, 
inland, as well as along its coasts, their footprints are seen on the 
mountain, the river, place, and island, lending a probability to the 
assumption that this parish name is of Norse origin, meaning, as 
above described, " Seen from afar." 

These grand mountains, so conspicuous to the mariner, are, in 
a geological sense, the oldest in the British Isles. " They stand 
boldly out to view, in a district dreary and desolate, rugged rough 
moor and heather tufted rock alternating with lakes that lie 
under some of the wildest and most imposing scenery in Scotland 
Coiniie Mheal, the Assynt portion of Ben Stack, 3234 feet above 
sea level ; Ben More, 3273 feet ; Canisp, 2786 feet; Quinag, 2453 
leet ; Glas-ven, 2541 feet ; Suilven (the sugar-loaf mountain of the 
mariner), 2403 feet, composed of silurian quartzite and trap, 
Cambrian conglomerate, gniess, and sandstone. These colossal 
piles of Titanic masonry crumbling in ruin bestrew their pedestals 
with the whitened products of their decay, resulting in a bare 
bleak country, treeless, and devoid even of bushes, yet, still the 
resort of the eagle and the falcon." Well might the hardy Norse 
rovers, seeing these grand objects on the horizon, apply the term 
** Asynte " to them " Seen from afar." 

On the eastern boundary of the parish a belt of limestone 
intersects its border in the direction of south to north to a height 
of several hundred feet at Innis-na-damph (Meadow of the stags). 
It contains many subterranean caverns, into which streams arid 
springs disappear, to re-appear at a lower level. The Norseme.i 
left their foot-prints here in imposing one of their names on tho> 
stream and the ravine not far from the hotel, indicating their 
opinion upon what they saw, and their proneness to superstitious 
beliefs. The ravine is truly a hideous sight, and it would seem 
the Norsemen, impressed with that i lea of it, called it Traligill 
.(the fiend's ravine), trail, a fiend, gil, ravine. Were this limestone 



Sutherland Place Names. Ill 

mountain situated near the sea coast, or a railway, it would form a 
valuable property in the midst of much that is valueless, but to 
the geologist, the district presents a rare field for minute investiga- 
tion, and to those who delight in the pathless solitude, where, in 
wild grandeur, nature dwells alone, the solemn and sublime scenery 
of Assynt, the " Seen from afar," will afford moments of exquisite 
pleasure. One oft feels in wandering through its superb solitudes 
as if the next step would conduct him into the ideal and the 
supernatural. To the philologist, its nomenclature is equally 
interesting, though perhaps not so absorbing. 

MOUNTAIN NAMES. 

Ben-more, beinn mor. G. Lofty mountain. 

Ben-Stack, N. Stakkr. Like a hay stack, very appropriate to 
the aspect of this mountain. G. stac, high hill, high cliff; stack 
and stuaic, in the topography of Dories il ; stook and stookens, in 
that of Limerick, also in Tipperary and Galwuy. 

Coinn Mheall. G. Coinneamh, meeting, and meall, eminence, 
hence, the meeting of the eminences, probably in reference to its 
being a portion of Ben-Stack, thus meeting it ; B. Scots, mull, 
Welsh, moel, Armoric, or Bas-Breton, moel, eminence. 

Quinag. G. Cuinneag, a cask, in reference to its appearance ; 
N. kaena, boat-like mountain. 

Canisp. N. Kenna, well-known, and ups, house roof mountain 
formed like a house roof, the well-known house roof mountain. 

Suil-ven. G. Suil, eye, and beinn, mountain, or N. solr, sallow- 
yellow, and G. beinn, compound word, Norse and Gaelic the 
sallow or yellow mountain, from the aspect of its cliffy sides. 

Glas-ven. G. Glas, grey, and beinn, mountain the grey 
mountain. N. glaistr, shining, and G. beinn, compound word 
Norse and Gaelic - shining mountain. 

Sail-ghorm. G. Blue heel, end of the Quinag mountain. 

Sail-gharbh. G. Rough heel, another spar of the Quinag. 

Ben-uidhe. G. Aodh (Hugh) and beinn Hugh's mountain, 
where he hunted. Uidhe is frequently seen in the topography of 
Assynt and the north of Sutherland, in reference to streams and 
space from one part of a glen to another part. Ben-aodh is 2354 
feet high. 

Meallach-an-leathad riabhach. G. Summit of the brindled 
slope. 2300 feet above sea level. 

Beinn-an-fhurain. G. The mountain of salutations, in reference 
to the herds and keepers of the Macleods of Assynt and those of the 
Rosses of Balnagowan meeting on its summit, which formed the 



112 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

boundary between the two properties, and saluting each other.. 
1500 feet. 

Beinn-nan-Cnairahsaig. G. The bear-berry mountain. 1500 
feet. 

Tarsuinn. G. Across, in reference to its position in regard to 
the range of the direction of surrounding mountains. 

RIVER NAMES. 

Kirkaig. N. Kirkja, church, so named from an ancient church 
and village found here, and destroyed by the pagan Norsemen 
a Culdee place of worship, founded by St Maolrubha. Assynt 
Parish Church is dedicated to this ecclesiastic. 

Uidhe-fhearna. G. Uidh, gently flowing water, cognate with 
Aw, part of a stream that leaves a lake before breaking 
into a current, and fearna, alder-wood. It is here a river 
between two lakes, with a slow current, having alder trees 
on both its sides. Uidh is probably "old Gaelic," meaning a 
stretch of water gently flowing at an equal rate. In Sutherland 
it is also applied to a level open space between two points, or to 
distance between one place and another. It is uncommon in High- 
land topography. Wei. gwy, Wye in Hereford, Wey in Surrey 
slow-flowing water. 

Crom-allt. G. Crooked stream ; crom, crooked. Irish crom, 
Welsh crwm. Cor. and Armor, croum. Allt., stream, brook; 
Welsh allt, cliff"; Lat. altus, high. It would seem that in remote 
times, allt might have been applied to the steep sides of mountain 
torrents, and ultimately applied to the stream itself, that came 
down between them after rains, and so came to represent the 
stream, and not the precipitous banks of it. 

Led-beg. G. Leathad-beg, small slope or declivity a place 
name, the place giving its name to the river near it. 

Inver. G. The angular land formed by the confluence of two 
waters. Inver and aber, in their different definitions, have been 
fought out by Col. Robertson and the late Dr Maclachlan. Inver 
is not aber, nor is aber inver. Aber, from its first syllable a, old 
Gaelic, flowing water, and bior, point, refers to the point made by 
one water as it merges with the other at the confluence. Inver, 
from its first syllable in, old Gaelic, is land or country, and bior, 
point hence point of land. The first syllable is in Innis, an 
island, or flat land, such as is found at all abers, and hence the 
natural conclusion must be that aber refers to the water, and inver 
to the land on either side of the aber. It is to be noted that the 
name of the smaller water falling into the larger invariably 



Sutherland Place Names, 113 



I imposes itself on the aber, and the inver thus, the Ness river 
a smaller quantity of water, falls into the Beauly Firth, the larger, 
imposes its name on the confluence of both waters, the aber, and 
on the land adjoining the aber, which the keen-eyed Caledonian 
Celt named inver. Both these contested terms are unquestionably 
Old Gaelic. Aber is not of Welsh or British origin it is one of 
those words common to the Celtic language, whether it be Gaelic 
or Welsh. The student of topographical philology finds that the 
Caledonians were much more keen-eyed in their imposition of 
place names, river names, mountain names, and used more vari- 
ations in describing physical aspects than their brethren the 
Brythons. 

Allt-na-h-airbhe. G. Allt, stream ; airbhe, produce, in refer- 
ence to its fishing properties. It is said of another stream in 
Sutherland, Allt-na-harra, that it means the stream of slaughter, 
from the supposition to have been there, in crossing it, that the last 
of the fugitives from the battle of Druim-na-coub was killed by the 
pursuing Mackays. If that be so, the orthography should be 
Allt-an-air. 

Allt-an-tiughaich. G. Stream in the dense glen. Tiughaich, 
dense, thick wood, or scrub ; tiugh, thick ; W. tew, Arm -, teuo, 
Bas-Breton, tew. 

Uidhe-na-Caoraich. G. Sheep track, or a portion of the glen 
in which sheep were wont to graze, giving the stream its appella- 
tion. It is between Loch-an-tuirc (lake of the boar) and Lochan- 
an-aite-mhoir (the little lake, near, or by, +he big place). 

Allt-skiack. G. Sgiathach, shaded the shaded stream; Wei. 
ysgiw, a screen ; Corn, sgeth, shade ; Greek skia, shade. 

Allt-na-beadhan. G. Biadh (old Gaelic), oppress ; beath, 
treacherous; beathan, as a noun, means deceivers stream of the 
treacherous, or deceivers. 

Allt-na-beinn-ghairbhe. G. The rough mountain stream. Wei. 
garw ; Bas-Bret. gara, appears in Gar-onne (rough river). 

Allt-a-chamhna. G. Gamhna, stirk stream of the stirk. 

Amhainn, Loch Bhig. G. River entering Loch Beg (little lake). 

Amhainn, Glen Coul. G. Cul, back river of the back glen. 

Amhainn, Glen Duibh. G. Du, black river of the black 
glen. 

Amhainn, Traligill. N. Trolla, or trail, fiend, and gil, ravine, 
in allusion to the depth of the chasm, and the stream disappearing 
in the limestone caverns. The Norsemen were very superstitious, 
believing in many gods, goddesses, and evil spirits. It would 



114 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

appear that they were terrified at the view of this ravine. The 
name given it by them, "the devil's ravine," represents their 
opinion of it. 

LAKE NAMES. 

There are probably 300 lakes in this parish, all of them full 
of trout, all of them bearing Gaelic names. The following are 
specimens : 

Barrolan. G. Bairlinn, billow lake of the billows, or waves. 
It lies in the defile leading from Ross-shire into Assjait, and 
exposed to the force of the east and west winds. 

Urigill. G. Uiriollaich, precipices (old Gaelic term) lake of 
the precipices ? This lake is sometimes shown on maps as Udri- 
gill, N. udr ; Norse god, Son of Night ; and gil, a ravine. Hence, 
were a ravine near it, the definition would be " lake of the very 
dark ravine." 

Loch Urchoille. G. Literally new wood, green wood lake of 
the green wood. Near it is a large grove of evergreen wood, 
hence the name. 

Loch Preas-nan-aighean. G. Preas, bush, or thicket ; aighean, 
hinds lake of the hinds' bush ; Wei. pryd, prysg, bush. 

Loch Ardd, G. Ardd, or airde, height, takes its name from the 
height near it. Dubh-ard, Duart, black height. This lake is an 
arm of the sea. 

Loch Ard-bhar. G. Ard-bhar, the point of the height. This 
lake is also an arm of the sea. The district gives its name to the 
lake. Wei. bar, a point, or summit ; Wei. bara, bread, the pro- 
duce of the top of corn stalks ; Irish bar, a point ; Corn, bar, a 
point ; Bas-Breton bar, a point. This is a most interesting root 
word. As bar, or barr, it is found in most languages, signifying 
the height of something, whether in quality or degree of excellence. 
Near the lake is a village called Ardvar, and at the end of the 
lake are the ruins of a Pictish tower. 

Loch Cairn-bhain. G. Lake of the white cairn. W. earn, a 
heap ; Manx earn, a heap ; Bas-Bret. carren, heap. 

Loch Airidh-na-beinn. G. Airidh, sheiling lake of the hill 
sheiling. 

Loch-na-Gainmhich. G. Gainmheach, sand lake of the sandy 
beach. 

Loch-na-Creige-dubh. G. Creige (gen. of creag), rock, ana du, 
black lake of the black rock. 

Loch Nedd. G. So called from the village name near it. 







Sutherland Place Names. 115 

Loch Bealach-na-buirich. G. Bealach, pass between hills or 
mountains ; buirich, roaring like a deer or bull lake of the 
bellowing. 

Loch Assynt: N. See Assynt ; the district names it. 

Loch Camloch. G. The crooked, or bent loch. 

Loch Awe. G. Aw (fluid) is old Gaelic for running water ; N. 
a, in the sense of the Latin, aqua ; W. aw, flowing liquid ; French 
eau, water or liquid ; Greek a ; Gaelic ath, a ford. 

Loch Bad-na-muirichinn. G. Bad. thicket ; muirichinn, child- 
ren lake of the thicket of the children. 

Loch Feithe-an-leothaid. G. Feithe, quagmire ; leothaid, gen. 
of leathad, a slope lake of the quagmire slope. 

Loch Druim-Suardalain, compound word. G. and N. Druim, 
'G., back or ridge ; suardulain, N., " svarda," svordr, sward ; and 
lain, N., land lake of the ridge of the sward land. 

Loch Roe. N. Rod, high-stepped banks lake of the terraced 
banks. 

Loch Crocach. G. Branched, like the fingers of the hand spread 
out; N. kroka, crooked. 

Loch Beannach. G. Beann-ach, hilly lake amongst hills ; or 
G. bean-nach, horny horny lake, equally applicable as to form 
and aspect of this lake. 

Loch Claise. G. Clais, ditch, hollow lake of the hollow; W. 
clais, riverlet ; Arm. clais and cleis ; Bas-Bret. cleiz. 

Loch Na-loinne. G. Lake of the blades, probably into which 
swords had been cast. There is a lake in Rogart named " Loch- 
na-cliadheamh'n," into which tradition states a party of free- 
booters threw their swords, leaving the spoil to the pursuers. 

Loch Innse-na-fraoich. G. Lake of the heathy island. Innse 
may here mean pasture, or island ; Welsh ynys ; Corn, ennis ; 
Arm. enes ; Bas-Bret. enezen. 

ISLAND NAMES. 

Eilean-a-chleit. G. and N. Gaelic, rugged height ; Norse 
klettr, rock; Bas-Bret. clet, rock. This small island, out in the 
sea from Lochinver, is 120 feet above sea level. In the study of 
the Icelandic, or old Norse, it is interesting to find many words 
very similar to the Gaelic of North- West Sutherland, leading to 
the inference that they were introduced into Icelandic literature 
from that region. From the dissertation of the " Corpus Poeticum 
Boreale " we would infer that at least parts of Iceland had been 
colonized by the N.W. inhabitants of Scotland when the Druids 
were persecuted and expelled after Christianity was introduced, or 




116 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

that Norsemen who had lived long enough in Assynt and round 
about it, to acquire the knowledge and the use of Gaelic, had 
returned to Iceland and Norway carrying with them tales, legends, 
and terms peculiar to the north-west portion of Scotland. It has 
been said that it was the expelled Druids who first instigated the 
Norse to make their incursions into Caithness, Sutherland, and the 
Hebrides, burn places of worship, and slaughter the priests. 

Soyea. N. See, sea; and ey, island island in the sea, 100 
feet high. It forms a breakwater to Lochinver Bay. It may be 
Gaelic from samhach, to quieten. 

Crona. N. Threnn, triple ; ey, island ; threnn-ey, throna 
eventually pronounced Crona three islands. 

Oldany. N. Aldinn, old ; and ey, island the old island, from 
being the largest in size on the coast. In the English Channel we 
have Alderney, old island ; Guernsey, rugged island ; Jersey, 
grassy island ; Sark (Sercque) temple island ; Herm, serpent 
island. 

Eilean-nan-uan. G. Island of the lambs. At speaning times 
lambs were sent there away from their dams. 

Eilean-ruadhridh. N. Rnadr, red, and, ey, island the red 
island, from its cliffs of red sandstone ; or, G. eilean, island, and 
ruadhridh, Roderick, Roderic's island, more probably the first. 

PLACE NAMES. 

Achandoich. G. Achadh, field, and do-aobhaich, unpleasant 
unpleasant field. 

Ach-na-carnan. G. Achadh, field, and carnan, heaps of stones 
the field of heaps of stone ; ruins of a Pictish tower are near. 

Achumore. G. Achadh, field, and mor, big the big field. 

Achmelvich, G. and N. compound. Achadh, field ; mel, Norse, 
grassy ; uig, Norse, a bay, or a creek the field of the grassy creek, 
or grassy bay. 

Aird-da-loch. G. highland, or height between two lakes, the 
Glencul and Glendu lochs. 

Achantur. G. Achadh, field, and tur, a tower. Tur here 
means a conical tower like-hill, near 300 feet high. Manx toor, 
Wei. twr, Corn, tur, Arm. tour, tur, Lat. tur-ris, Gr. turis, Arab, 
tour, a hill, Heb. thur, a hill. 

Allt-na -cealgach. G. A place and stream name. Allt, stream, 
and cealgach, deceiver stream of the deceiver, in reference to a 
Ross-shire man, as tradition states, who gave false evidence in a 
dispute respecting the marches between Ross-shire and Assynt. 
Frequent contests were taking place between the herds of Balna- 



Sutherland Place Names. 117 

gown and Assynt regarding the grazings on these marches. The 
Earl of Sutherland intervened by right of heritable jurisdiction. 
The oldest inhabitants 011 the marches were called on to give 
evidence on the spot. One of the Balnagown witnesses, more 
astute than truthful, who had placed Ross-shire soil in his shoes, 
when he came to the march contended for by Balnagown, swore 
he stood on Ross-shire ground, and the decision was given in 
favour of Balnagown, but the intrepid Macleod said, " Balnagown 
may take the land ; I'll keep the grazing." It is said that the 
unfortunate man, who gave the false evidence, met with an 
untimely end soon after by suicide or assassination. 

An Car. G. The bend. 

Am Pollan. G. The little pool. Wei. pwll, Corn, pol, Arm. 
poul, Lat. palus, a marsh ; Gr. pelos, Norse, pallr, pool. 

Ardvreck. G. Ard, high, or height, breae, speckled the 
speckled height. 

Aid-roe. G. and N. Ard, height, and rod (pronounced roth\ 
stepped the stepped height or ridge. Takes its name from the 
adjoining promontory, Rhu-rodha. 

Ard-var. G. See lake of this name, which takes its riame from 
this village, and the village from the height. 

Am Braighe. G. The brae ; cognate is Wei. braich, B.B. 
brech. Lat. brachium upper part of the shoulder. 

Baddy-na-ban. G. Groves, or thickets of the women. 

Baddy-grin an. G. Sunny groves. 

Baddy-darrach. G. Oak groves. 

Bad-na-carbad. G. Bad, grove or thicket ; carbad, bier grove 
of the bier. The grove at which the bier was wont to be set down 
to rest for refreshments at funerals. 

Bae-garbh. G. Bagh bay, and garbb, rough the rough bay. 
Name of the village at the bay. 

Ballachladdich. G. Bal, village or township; and cladich, 
gen. of cladach, shore village on the shore. 

Balloch. G. Bealach, gap or pass in a mountain range. 

Brackloch. G. Breac, speckled ; clach, stone place of the 
speckled stones, conglomerate. 

Ca, Ca-beg, Ca-mor. -G. Cadha, a narrow pass ; Ca-beg, small 
narrow pass ; Ca-more, big narrow pass. 

Cor-eadag-beg. G. Coire-an-fheadag-bheag, little hollow of the 
plover. The adjective refers to the hollow. 

Cor-eadag-mhor, G. Large hollow of the plover. 

Coire-riabhach. G. The brindled hollow. 



118 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Clach-toll. G. Clach, stone; toll, hole the holed stone. 
Clach-toll is a very interesting locality. On the seashore is a hill 
of soft-red sandstone, through the softer parts of which the sea 
made a large hole, gradually increasing it, and forming the hole, 
as it were, into an archway, which could be discerned from a great 
distance. Many years ago this arch was destroyed by a slip in the 
strata, which is composed of red sandstone, alternating with beds 
of marl, dipping to the sea. The western limb of the arch slid 
down with the dip of the strata, and the arch gave way. Tradi- 
tion states that " Coinneach Odhar,' ; the Seer, prophesied that the 
arch would be broken, and fall to pieces, and when that event 
happened the noise would be so great that the Ledmore (18 miles 
away) cattle would be disturbed and frightened from their pas- 
tures. When the fracture and fall occurred it so happened that 
cattle from Ledmore were grazing at Clach-toll, and were actually 
disturbed by the noise, fulfilling the saying of the Seer. So say 
the natives. Near Clach-toll are the ruins of a Pictish castle, or 
Druidic temple, called by the natives Tigh-talmhaidh-na-Druidhaich 
(earthly habitation of the Druids), " a prodigious pile of huge 
stones close to a great rock, its front to the sea, and surrounded 
on the land sides by three circular outworks at regular distances." 
There are many tumuli all round the outworks, and various 
ornaments, such as a golden sickle, were found in the neighbour- 
hood. These ruins have been explored. 

Cloich-an teiue. G. Stone of fire. Probably here it was that 
the Druidic priests distributed the sacred fire at certain festivals. 

Cloich-ary. G. Clach, stone ; and airidh, sheiling the stony 
sheiling. 

Clashmore. G. Clais, hollow; and mor, great the great hol- 
low, or an extensive area of low lying land surrounded by higher. 

Clashanessie. G. Clais, hollow ; and easag, dim., small water- 
fall the hollow near the small waterfall. 

Camus-vic-Erchar. G. Camus, bay ; vic-Erchar, son of Farqu- 
har the bay of the son of Farquhar. Probably he lived near it, 
and was drowned in it. 

CuL-^-G. Back ; locally it applies to land behind a ridge. 
Wei. cwl ; Fr. cul back. 

Culaig, or Culag. G. Cul, back ; and ag, dim., the little back 
land the area not so extensive as in Cul. 

Culin. G. Culainn, backs several little back places. 

Culbeg. G. Cul, back ; and beg, little little place behind a 
ridge. 

Culkein. G. Cul, back ; and cinn, heads a place behind 
several eminences. 



Sutherland Place Names. 119 

Dornie. G. Narrow channel where the tide ebbs and flows, or 
narrow channel between two lakes. Dornie, in Kintail. 

Druim-suardlain. G. and N. Dniim, ridge; suardlain (N. 
svordr), sward, and lain (N.), land the ridge of the sward land. 

Druimbag. G. Dim., little ridge. 

Dureland. N. Dyr, deer, and N. land deer land. 

Eddra-chalda. G. Eadair, between ; da, two ; choille dur, 
woody or bosky streams between two woody or bosky streams. 

Eddra isk. G. Eadair, between ; da, two ; uisge, water be- 
tween two waters, or two streams. Here it applies to " between 
two rivers." 

Eddra-ven. G. Eadar, between ; da, two ; and beinn, moun- 
tain between two mountains. 

Elphin. G. "El," old Gaelic aill, stone or rock ; phin = fionn, 
fair, white the white rock. Limestone at this hamlet. 

Feithe-na-bad-clisg. G. Featha, bog ; bad, thicket ; and clisg, 
shaky bog of the shaky thicket. 

Felin. G. Fe, smooth, calm ; and linne, pool or arm of the sea 
calm pool. Wei. lyn, Arm. lin, a pool, a lake. 

Go-na-calman. G. " Go" = geodha, a creek, or cove, surrounded 
by rocks ; and caiman = columan, pigeons the creek of the 
pigeons ; go (old Gaelic), the sea. 

. Go-na-dunan. G. Geodha, as above ; na, of the ; dunan, little 
hills creek of the little hills or forts. Tradition states that the 
Norsemen, after their defeat at Dornoch and in adjacent parts of 
Ross, retreated to this place, built forts for their protection, cut 
down timber to build a " birlinn," or ship, to take them away to 
their own lands, and, in revenge for their defeat, burnt all the 
woods round about, to prevent the natives making iron weapons, 
and so put an end to the manufacture of iron in Assynt. 

Gonval. G. Conn, a man's name, and baile, residence Conn's 
residence (Joyce, Vol. I. 25). Con wall, habitation of Coun. 

Glaic na-shellich. G. Glac, glaic, a hollow, a narrow valley ; 
shellich, seallaich, willow hollow of the willows. 

Glaswell. G. Glas, grey, pale, wan ; " well" (aill 0. G.), stone 
or rock the grey or pale rock. Wei. glas, blue, green; Corn, 
glas, blue, green ; Arm. glas, grey ; march glas, grey horse. The 
different applications of this colour represent different shades of 
the primitive blue-green. 

Glen-bain. G. Glen, gleann, narrow valley; bain, ban, fair, 
white. Manx, ban, Irish ban, Heb. and Chal. la-ban, white or 
fair. Laban (a man's name), fair skinned. 

Glendu. G. Black glen : gleann and du. 



120 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Glenbeg. G. Little valley. 

Glenlerig. G. Gleann, narrow valley ; and lairic, or lairig, 
sloping hills glen with sloping hill-sides ; lerig, lairg, &c. 

Innis-na-damph. G. Innis, flat land, meadow ; damh, stag 
meadow of the stag, or stags. 

Knockan. G. Cnocan (dim. of cnoc), an eminence or hillock. 

Knock-na-manach. G. Cnoc, hill, and manach, monk the 
little hill (or eminence) of the monks, near the ancient church. 

Knock-nan-each. G. The little hill of the horses. 

Kylescow. G. " Kyles" = caolas, strait ; cow = cumhann, nar- 
row the narrow strait; the " myrkifiord" of the Norsemen. 

Kylestrome. G. and N. Kyle, caolas, strome ; N. straunie, 
current, tide a strait having a current or tide ; peculiarly 
applicable to this strait from the tide rushing in and out at flow 
and ebb. The town of Calais takes its name from the strait now 
called Straits of Dover. 

Ledbeg, Ledmore. G. Led (contraction of leathad), slope, and 
beg, little ; mor, great. Manx beg, little ; mooar, big or great. 

Led-na-beathach. G. Leathad, slope, and beathach, beast or 
animal. W. buch, bwch, cattle ; Corn, byach ; Fr. bete. 

Lead-na-lub-croy. . G. Leathad, slope ; lub, bend ; croy, 
cruaidh, hard slope of the hard or rocky bend that resisted the 
action of the current. 

Loyne. G. Leana, lian, a meadow a grassy plot of land. 

Luban Croma, G. Luban, dim., little bend ; and Croma, 
crooked. 

Mean-Assynt. G. Meadhon, middle middle division of 
Assynt. 

Meoir. G. Fingers place from which streams issue, and 
spread out like the fingers of a hand spread out to their full 
stretch. 

Mhan-Assynt. G. Lower division of Assynt ; Ard-Assynt, 
higher division, or heights of Assynt ; mhan, meadhon, and ard 
often occurs in Highland topography to mark distinction. 

Meallan-Odhar. G. Meallan, dim. of meall, a lump a hill 
terminating like a lump ; and odhar, dun colour ; W. moel ; Arm. 
moel. 

Meall-a-bhuirich. G. Hill of the bellowing of deer. 

Meall-nan-imrichinn. G. Hill ; and imrichinn, removals or 
Sittings. 

Nedd. G. a sheltered place like a nest ; Wei. nyth ; Arm. 
nyth ; Corn, neid ; Fr. nid nest. 



Sutherland Place Names. 121 

Oldany. N. See the island name definition, ante, which gives 
the name of this hamlet, situated on the shore of the mainland 
opposite to the island. 

Pol-an-dunan. G. Poll, p >ol ; and dunan, little fort pool of the 
little fort. There are many Pictish towers along the coast ; here 
is one of them. 

Pal-gavie. G. Pool ; and garbh, rough the rough pool. 

Pal-gawn. G. Pool ; and gamhna, stirk pool of the stirk, 
probably where a stirk had been drowned. Wei. pwl ; Corn, pol ; 
Arm. poul ; Norse pollr ; Belg. poel ; Gr. pelos ; Dor. Gr. palos ; 
Lat. pal-us. 

Ry-an-traid. G. Ruigh, slope, ascent, or declivity ; and 
traghad, shore at ebb tide the declivity or slope to the shore. 
Gaelic also traigh ; Wei. traeth, traith ; Arm. traez. 

Rafifin. G. or N. (doubtful). G. rath, fort or village, and fionn, 
fair ; N. ref, fox, and inn, habitation or resort. N. rafn, a place 
on the coast where sea weed accumulates. 

Ru-store. G. and N. Ru-rudha, promontory ; storr, N., high, 
big ; Gaelic, stor, high cliff ; Irish, sturr. 

Ryan-crorich. G. "Ryan," ruighan dim., small slope; and 
"crorich," cro-bheathaich, cattle shelter the little slope of the 
cattle shelter. 

Ryan-fearna. G. The small slope covered with alder scrub or 
trees. 

Slis-chilis. G. Slios, side ; and caolas, strait the side of the 
strait. 

Strone-chrubie. G. Strone, nose ; and crubaidh, bending 
the nose of the bending ; in reference to the bending or jutting 
out of a portion of the mountain. 

Stoer. G. or N. Seems to be common to both, and applied to 
high pinnacled hills or cliffs. Irish sturr ; N. storr ; G. stor. 
The Norse language of Iceland has many words in common with 
the Gaelic spoken in the north-west of Scotland. The Druid 
refugees, who fled into the Orkneys, Shetland, and Iceland from 
Christian persecution, may have imported such terms into those 
quarters, or the Norse men imported them into the north-west, 
and after a period of years became incorporated into Gaelic. Stor 
pinnacle is 530 feet above sea level. 

Strathan. G. Dim. of strath -little or short strath. 

Torbreck. G. Torr, hillock, mound; and breac, speckled. 

Tilin. G. Tigh, house ; linn, pool or damhouse near the 
dam. 



122 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Tubeg, Tu-more. G. " Tu " = taobh, side; and beag, little; 
" more," mor, big side of land divided by a river or stream. Iron 
was manufactured here, tradition states, until the Norsemen 
burnt all the woods, by which the smelting was done, to prevent 
the " Assintaich " handy craftsmen from making swords and axes. 
and spear heads to defend themselves and supply their neighbours. 
There is good and superior iron ore lodes in the limestone moun- 
tain adjoining Tu-more 

Unapool. G. Una, aon, one ; and poll- - one pool, jutting out 
of the lake into the land at the village. 

The ancient place name formers generally succeeded in desig- 
nating places by their most obvious characteristics every name 
striking straight for the feature that most strongly attracted their 
attention, so that to this day a person moderately skilled in such 
matters may often understand the physical peculiarities, or the 
aspect of a place, as soon as he hears the name. The Celts were 
sharp-eyed, the Norsemen no less so. Norse names of places, 
when applied to the aspect of places, are very descriptive, as we 
shall see in succeeding papers, round the Sutherland coast. 



20th FEBRUARY, 1889. 

At this meeting the following gentlemen were elected members 
of the Society, viz.: Mr John Finlayson, head master, Bell's 
School, Inverness, and Mr Malcolm Macinnes, Raining School, 
Inverness. Thereafter Mr Alex. Macbain, M.A., read a paper 
contributed by the late Dr Cameron, Brodick. Mr Cameron's, 
paper was as follows : 

ARRAN PLACE NAMES. 
SECTION I, 

The topography of Arran, like that of all the Western Islands, 
of Scotland, is partly Scandinavian and partly Celtic. Names 
like Brodick, Goatfell, Ormidale, Kiskadale, are clearly of Norse 
origin, whilst such names as Tormore, Torbeg, Achanacar, 
Druimindoon, Dunfin, Dundow, are manifestly Celtic, our names 
of places thus bearing testimony to the fact that, in past times, 
the Norsemen and the Celts held alternate sway in our island, the 
inhabitants of which are a mixed race, being partly Norse and 
partly Celtic. But although the topography of a country serves. 



Arran Place Names. 123 

irow important light upon both its history and its ethno- 
raphy, I do not intend at present to deal with these matters. All 
that I intend to do is to give the meaning of such of our local 
imes of places as admit of being explained with a tolerable degree 
>f certainty and accuracy. There is nothing in the world more 
sy than to discover a meaning for almost any place-name ; but 
re must remember that interpretations based upon a mere 
ambiance in sound between words, or parts of words, is of no 
lue whatever in the accurate study of topography. It would be 
sy to give amusing illustrations of this statement. 

In what I am now to bring before you, I shall carefully avoid 
iciful interpretations. It is better to confess our inability to 
[plain a word than to mislead, by giving an inaccurate explana- 
ion, and when a matter is doubtful, it ought to be given as 
loubtful. This is the surest way of attaining at last to certainty. 
I shall begin with Arran (old spelling Aran), the name of our 
island. Arran has been derived from the words ar-Fhinn (the 
laughter of Finn) the name of a place near Catacol, from which 
le island, it is said, has received its name. This, how r ever, is 
erroneous. Arran (older form Aran) is an inflection of Ara, the 
old name of the island, as Alban (Scotland) is an inflection of 
Alba, and Erenn (Ireland) is an inflection of Eriu. The genitive 
of Ara is Aran. Our ancestors said, just as we say, " Eilean 
Aran," and thus Aran became the regular name. Now, ar-Fhinn 
never was Ara, nor could it have been Arran, for the genitive of 
Fionn is Finn, or with aspiration Fhinn. Besides, there are other 
Arran islands ; in the mouth of Galway Bay there are two islands 
which have that name. It is, however, much easier to show what 
Arran has not been derived from than to show what is the correct 
derivation of the word. In both form and declension, Ara, gen. 
Aran, agrees exactly with the word ara (kidney), gen. aran. This 
word, which has lost a b before r (abran), is etymolcgically con- 
nected with the Greek nephros, pi. nepkroi, Lat. nefrones 
(kidneys) ; but I cannot say whether or not it is the same word as 
the name of our island. Any explanation, however, which does 
not take into account that the nominative of the word is ara, 
although the stem is aran, cannot be regarded as satisfactory, just 
as no explanation of Alban is satisfactory which does not take into 
account that the nom. is Alba, nor any explanation of Erenn which 
overlooks that the nom. is Eriu.* 

In dealing with the place names of the island, I shall begin 
with the Brodick district. In a document quoted from in the 

* Hersey was the old Norse name of Arran. 



124 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

" Origines Parochiales," and which dates as far back as 1450, 
Brodick is spelled Bradewik, which means the broad bay.* The 
Icelandic form of the adjective " broad" is breidhr, the Dan. bred, 
and the Scotch (which is closely allied to the Norse language) 
brade. The second syllable, " wik," signifies a bay. It occurs 
very frequently, both by itself, as in Wick in Caithness, Uig in 
Skye, and Uig in Lews, and in composition as the last syllable of 
very many of the names of our bays and inlets. We find this 
word also spelled Braithwik and Brethwik. Until lately there 
was a hamlet at the head of the new street, now called Douglas 
How, at Brodick, which the natives called Breadhaig. This was, 
doubtless, the original Brodick, and in olden times the head of the 
bay. 

Strathwillan furnishes a good example of how words, in the 
course of time, change not only their form but also their com- 
ponent parts. In old documents Strathwillan is Terrquhilane, and 
the natives still call the district Tirhuillein. Tir, allied to Lat. 
terra, signifies land. It occurs frequently in place-names, and is 
often connected with the names of persons. Thus, Tirconnell, 
Tyrone, Tirkeeren the land of Council, the land of Eogham, the 
land of Cserthainn. The second part of Tirchuilein resembles 
cuilionn (the holly), but if Tirchuilein meant the land of the holly, 
we would expect to have the article between Tir and cnilean, and 
that the word would be Tir-a'-chuilinn, like the Irish place-names 
Tirachorka (the land of the oats), and Tiraree (the land of the 
king). We may safely conclude that Tirchuilein means the land 
of Cuilean, which, although meaning a whelp, is also a personal 
name, as in " Culen mac Illuilb," who was a king of Albain in the 
10th century. 

The natives call Corriegills " Coire-ghoill." Coire signifies a 
hollow in the side of a mountain, and occurs very frequently in 
topography. It is identical with coire (a cauldron) ; it is cognate 
with the Ice. hverr (a cauldron, a boiler). 

There is more difficulty about the second syllable of Corrie- 
gills. It may from its form be the genitive of Gall (a stranger), 
a term applied in the West Highlands to the Danish invaders. 
The word would thus signify the "Tome" of or belonging to the 
stranger. The last syllable, however, may be the Norse gil (a deep 
narrow glen with a stream at bottom), which occurs so frequently 
as ghyll and gill in our Scottish topography, and this I regard as 
the more probable explanation. 

* Dean Munro (1549), calls it Braizay. 



Arrow Place Names. 125 

From Corriegills we pass on to Dunfin, which does not mean 
the Dun of the Ossianic Finn-mac-Cumhaill, for then the word 
would not be Dim-fionn but Dun-Fhinn, like Kill-Fhimi. In Dun- 
fionn is plainly the adjective fionn (white, fair), and Dun-fionn is 
the fair hill ; or it may mean the white or fair fort. The former, 
however, is the more probable, for we have close to Dun-fionn 
another hill Dun-dubh (the black hill), and when we look at the 
two hills, we find that the names are descriptive. The original 
meaning of dun is an enclosure. From an enclosed or walled 
place, it came to signify a fort ; and as forts were usually built 011 
elevated places, the word came to be applied to hills, and from 
hills to any heap, even a heap of dung, or dunghill, which in 
Gaelic is dunan, a diminutive of dan. 

But dunan does not always mean a dunghill. It also means a 
hillock, or little hill. Hence the Dunans below Corriegills means 
the hillocks, a descriptive name. 

The English etymological equivalent of dun is town, from the 
Anglo-Saxon tun, literally an enclosure. 

We shall now return to the centre of the Brodick district, but 
must have a look in passing at the sweet glen of Lag-'a-bheithe 
(the hollow of the birch). Lag, as those of us who speak Gaelic 
know, means a hollow, and laggan, a little hollow. Hence Lag, near 
Kilmory, is the hollow, a very descriptive name, and the Lagans 
we have two in the north end of Arran are very common 
in Gaelic topography. 

The last part of Lag-a'-bheithe is bkeithe, the genitive of 
beithe (birch). The a' between Lag and bheithe is the contracted 
form of the article an. 

We pass by the modern names Springbank and Alma Terrace, 
and come to the Mais or Maish, which means probably the moss- 
land. Then we have Glenormadell, which the suffix dell shows to 
be a Norse name, although the prefix glen (a valley), is Celtic. In 
Norse terms dale, which signifies a plain, a dale, forms an affix, 
whilst in Celtic words it forms a prefix. Knapdale, Helmsdale, 
Berriedale, are Norse words, whilst Dalintober, Dalnacardach, 
Dalanspittal, are Celtic words. It is not an uncommon thing to 
meet words containing both Norse and Celtic elements. Ormidale 
is a Norse word, which, at a later period, received a Gaelic prefix. 
The syllable orm is identical with the Ice. ormr (a snake, a serpent, 
also worm), and is the Norse equivalent of the English word worm. 
Ormidale, therefore, means the valley of snakes. 

Glencloy takes its name from the Macloys or Fullartons, who 
held the lands of Kilmichael early in the fourteenth century, one 



126 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

of that name having received them from King Robert Bruce. 
Macloy is MacLouis, or MacLoui, that branch of the Fullartons 
having descended from a person of the name of Louis, a name still 
not uncommon among the Arran Fullartons. 

Kilmichael means the Church of Michael, or the church dedi- 
cated to St Michael. The ruins of the old chapel were to be seen 
there until a comparatively recent period. Kil is the Gaelic rill, 
which signifies a church, and now a churchyard or burying-place. 
It is borrowed from the Latin word cella (a cell). 

As Kilmichael signifies the Church of Michael, or the church 
dedicated to St Michael, so Kilbride signifies the Church of 
Bridgit, or the church dedicated to St Bridgit ; Kilmory, the 
Church of Mary, or the church dedicated to St Mary ; Kildonnan, 
the church consecrated to St Donnan, and Kilpatrick, the church 
dedicated to St Patrick. 

Aucharanie is the field of the ferns, the first part of the word 
being achadh (a field), and the second part the genitive (Irish) of 
raineach (ferns). A similar example of inflection is Ceum-na-]aittagh. 

Glensherraig is written both Glenservaig and Glensherivik in 
ancient documents. Glenservaig may be the glen of the sorrel, 
but Glenshervik renders this interpretation doubtful. 

Glenrossay is the glen or valley of the water Rossay. The last 
syllable of Rossay is a common affix, signifying water (cf. larsa, 
the larsa water ; Thurso, the water of Thor). 

Glenshant is for Cranshant or Cranscheaunt, of which the first 
part is clearly crann (tree), and the second part may be seunta, the 
participle of the verb seun (to bless, literally, to cross one's self). 
The place may have taken its name from some tree in the locality, 
which was considered sacred. 

Knock, which occurs very frequently in the topography of 
Arran, signifies a hill or knoll, and Knockan, a little hill, a hillock. 
Knockan was the name of a hamlet of houses near the Castle of 
Brodick ; and there is somewhere in that direction a place which 
was called Coreknokdow, Coire-cnuic-dhuibh, but which I have not 
been able to identify. 

Pennycastel (Peighinn a' Chaisteil), the Pennyland of the 
Castle, was the name of some fields near the Castle. 

Peighinn (a penny), meaning a pennyland, enters largely into 
the topography of the island. There is a Peighinn near Shisken. 
There is a Peighin-riabhach, Penrioch (the spreckled Pennyland), 
and Benlister, which I suspect is a corruption of Penalister, the 
Pennyland of Alister,* perhaps the same Alister whose name has 

* Palester in Rent-Roil of 1757-8. 



Arran Place Names. 127 

been kept in remembrance in the name Gortan-Alister (the little 
field of Alister). (Clachelane, a pennyland). 

I may here notice that Gort is the same word as Gart. Gart is 
now applied to a field of growing corn, but it literally signifies an 
enclosed field, and is, in fact, the same word as the English word 
yard (an enclosure). The cognates are the Greek chortos, the 
Latin hortus, the Gaelic gort or gart, and English yard and garden. 

I have said that the word peighinn (penny) enters into several 
of our place names. We have also halfpenny lands as Levincor- 
rach (the steep halfpenny land), and Achenleven. There is a farm 
in Strachur called Lephin-mor (the big halfpenny land). 

Feorline (a farthing), meaning a farthing land, is a common 
place name in the West and North Highlands. We have a North 
and South Feorline in Arran, near Kilpatrick. 

Mark, in Gaelic marg, which was thirteen shillings and four- 
pence, occurs very frequently in Gaelic topography. In Arran, 
we have Merkland, near Erodick, and Marg-nn-h f/lisL (the Merk- 
land of the Church), near the Manse of Kilbride, and another 
Marg-na-heglish, near Lochranza. Marg-an-ess (the Merkland of 
the waterfall). 

Dupenny occurs as an older form of Dippen, which, therefore, 
means two-penny or two-penny land. It formed part of what is 
called in ancient documents the Tenpenny lands of Arran, which 
embraced the three Largies, Kiskadale, Glenashdale, and Clach- 
lane. 

I shall now come to the district of Lamlash. 

Lamlash proper is the Holy Isle, so called, no doubt^ from its 
early ecclesiastical associations. It was the residence of St Molash 
or Molaisi, of Devenish, whose connection with it gave it the 
names of Helantinlaysch (the island of the flame), Molassa (the 
island of Molas), and Lamlash (the island of Molash). This saint, 
whose day in the calendar is on the 12th September, is called also 
Laisren (the little flame), in -the calendar of Angus of Culdee. 

I may observe that the name of this saint was not Maeljos or 
Molios, as stated in the Origines Parochiales. Maeljos or Maelisi 
means the attendant (that is the tonsured one) of Jesus, whereas 
Molas or Molash signifies my flame, it having been common to use 
the possessive pronoun mo (my) before the names of saints as a 
term of endearment. Thus Mernoc, whence Kilmarnock, the 
Church of Mernoc, is " my Ernoc," Ernoc being the name of the 
patron saint of the Church of Kilmarnock. Molas or Molash is 
mo las (my flame), las signifying a flame. This word I is, with its 
diminutives lasan and laisren, was the name of more than one 
saint. 



128 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

There is nothing remarkable in the name of the neighbouring 
island, having become the name of the modern village of Lamlash 
any more than there is in the name of the neighbouring loch 
having also become its modern name, for the Gaelic name of Lam- 
lash at the present day is Loch-an-eilein (the loch of the island). 

I have already referred to the Penny land of Clachlands. The 
old form of this word was Clachelane, also spelled Clachellane. 
The first part of this word seems to be clach (a stone). Of this I 
would have no doubt if I did not find the word also written 
Cleuchtlanis. I do not know what the second part of the word, 
lane, means, if it be not the word lann (an enclosure). This word 
occurs frequently in Gaelic topography. It is the same word as 
the Welsh llan, so often met with in British topography, as in 
Llanbride, Llandudno. We find at least one instance of it in 
Arran in Lyniemore (the big enclosure or field). It occurs in the 
word iodhlann (a stackyard) a compound from iodh (corn), and 
lann (enclosure), and is probably cognate to the English word 
land. It is still used in our spoken Gaelic, but, as in many other 
cases, the accusative loinn has become also the nominative. 

At Lamlash we have a Blairmore and a Blairbeg. ' Bldr 
signifies a field. It is very common in Gaelic topography. This 
word has other meanings, as a peat moss (bldr-moine), and battle 
(Bldr Chuil-jhodair, the battle of Culloden). More is the adjec- 
tive mor (great, large, big), and beg the adjective beag (little, 
small). Blairmore is therefore the large field, and Blairbeg is the 
little field. 

Kilbride and Marg-na-heglish have been already explained. 

In the Blairmore glen, there was a hamlet which was called 
Druim-ic-an-Duileir. ' Ic-an-Duileir is the genitive of what must 
have been the name of a person Mac-an Duileir. Druim, the 
first part of the word, means a ridge. It is a common element in 
Gaelic place-names, as in Druim-a-duin (the ridge of the dun or 
hill). It is cognate with Lat. dorsum. 

I have already noticed Benlester. Glenkill I have not met 
with except in its present form. The first part of the word, glen, 
the Gaelic glcann (a valley), is plain, but whether the second 
part, kill, be the same word as that which forms the first syllable 
of Kilbride, Kilmory, Kilpatrick, &c., and which, as already 
noticed, signifies a church, it is impossible to say, without knowing 
whether or not there was a church there, especially as the kill is 
not, as it almost invariably is, prefixed to the name of a pacron 
saint. The place may possibly have taken its name from a kiln 
for drying corn or for burning lime. 



in tke Fyitli of Clyd 

JZottt 
(.ire t Goo : 




Arran Place Names. 129 

Somewhere in the neighbourhood of Glenkill there are two 
places which were called the Laigh Letter and High Letter. Letter, 
in Gaelic leitir, signifies the side or slope of a hill. It occurs very 
frequently either by itself or in composition in Gaelic topography. 

Cordon, written Corrden in the rent roll of 1757-8, and Buneen, 
I am not able to explain. Lt would be easy to give a plausible 
interpretation of these words, but that would serve no useful 
purpose. Buneen may mean bun, aibhne (the mouth of a river), 
and thus take its name from the stream which falls into the sea at 
Buneen, and which is large enough to be called abhainn (river) in 
Gaelic. Bun is applied in other places to the mouth of a river, as 
Bunaw (the mouth or lower part of the river Awe). 

Moniemore may signify the large hill, monadh-mor, from 
monadh (a hill) and more (large), or it may signify, as it is more 
likely, the large brake, for it is not unlikely that the whole of that 
slope was at one time covered with wood, as a considerable part 
of it is still. 

Gortan-Alestir I have already explained. We come to King's 
Cross, a name which, although it has a modern look, has been in 
existence for at least more than 120 years; for I find it in the 
rent roll of 1757, when it paid a rent of 16. But King's Cross 
is an English name, and was not, therefore, the old and proper 
name of that locality. About 1450, King's Cros* must have been 
Pennycrosche : for in a document of that period there is a farm of 
Pennycrosche mentioned alongside of Monymore, among the lands 
which paid ferms and grassum to the Crown, the sum paid by 
Pennycrosche being 46s 8d. 

Other places mentioned in the same document are Knocken- 
kelle, Achaharne, Ardlavenys, Letternagananach, and Dubroach. 
Knockenkelle seems to be Knockencoille (the little knowe of the 
wood), from knocken (a hillock or little knowe), and coille (wood). 
The latter part of the word may, however, be coiligh, the genitive 
(Ir.) of coileach (a cock) ; but, in this case, we would expect the 
word to be knocken-a'-choiligh, with the article between the two 
parts of the compound. 

Achaharn, now Achencairn, is the field of the cairn, from 
achadh (a field), and cctrn (a cairn of stones). 

The first part of Ardlavenys is either the adjective ctrd (high), 
or aird (an eminence or a dwelling-place), but I do not know what 
lavenys is, nor have I been able as yet to identify the place. 

Dubroach must be to the north of Lamlash. It seems to be 
Dubh-bhruthach. 

9 



130 Gaelic Society of fnuerness. 

Lettirnaganach is the leitir or hill slope of the canons, which 
points back to the time (1452) when James II. granted to the 
canons of Glasgow the whole Crown rents of Arran and other 
lands in payment of the sum of 800 marks, which they had lent 
to him out of the offerings of their church in the time of 
the indulgences. 

In Whitingbay there are three Largies Largiebeg, Largie- 
more, and Largiemeanach. Largie, I take to be the Gaelic word 
lairig (a moor, the side of a hill). It is of frequent occurrence in 
Gaelic topography. There is in Sutherland a parish of Lairg, and 
you have Largs on the Firth of Clyde. There is a Largie in 
Kintyre, and the burying-place of the Breadalbane family at Loch 
Tayside is Finlairig. There is also a Gaelic word leirg, which 
signifies a plain. But we may, with confidence, identify Largie 
with Lairig. The affixes, beg, more, and meanach, are the 
adjectives beag (little), mor (large, big), and meadhonach (middle). 

You have also three Kiskadales North, South, and Middle. 
In the old written documents, this word is written Keskedel. It 
is manifestly a Norse word, the affix dale or del being the same 
word as our Gaelic dail (a plain, a dale), and related to the Eng- 
lish dale and the German thai. The first part of the word I do 
not know, but I believe that, with a little more research, I shall 
be able to discover its meaning. 

There are some other words, such as Glenashdale, written 
Glenasdasdale in old documents, and Glenscoradale, clearly Norse 
names, which I must leave for the present unexplained. 

SECTION II. 

In the previous section on the Arran place-names, I started 
from Brodick, came along by Lamlash, and went as far as the 
march between the parishes of Kilbride and Kilmory. This 
time I propose to start again from Brodick, and to go in the 
opposite direction by Corrie, Lochranza, Catacol, and Dougarie, to 
Shisken. This includes the whole north end of the island. As 
in the former section, we shall frequently meet with names at 
the meaning of which we can only guess, although I do not 
despair of being yet able to get at their correct interpretation. 
Here, as elsewhere, names that were once familiar have disap- 
peared, through the process of adding field to field and house to 
house, from the map, although they still linger in the memories of 
the people. Thus, we know of a " Gortan gaimheach " (the sandy 
little field), near where Mr Halliday has his sawmills ; of the 



Arran Place Names. 



131 



Cnocan " (the Knockan), above the Castle ; and of " Peighinn a' 
Chaisteil" (the pennyland of the Castle), near the Castle. The 
burn coming down through the Castle wood is marked on the 
map as the " Cnockan Burn," although the " Cnocan" itself is not 
marked. It would be both interesting and important to get a list 
made up of as many as can now be recovered of the names that 
are not on the map before they pass away, as they are certain to 
do in the course of another generation, from the memories of the 
people. At present, I must take the Ordnance Survey map as my 
guide, although, so far as the place-names are concerned, it is by 
no means a safe guide. 

When we leave the Castle behind us, the first name we meet is 
Merkland, from the Scottish coin merk, equal to 13s 4d of our 
money. This was the amount of superiority money paid by the 
place in olden times. 

We pass by Merkland Point and Birch Point, and come to the 
" Rudha Salach" (the dirty headland), from rudha (headland), and 
salach (dirty). 

We meet with no other name on the map until we come to 
Corrie, in Gaelic .An Coire (the cavity, the cavern ; also, a hollow 
among hills or in the side of a mountain). 

We come next to Sannox, which is really a plural formed by 
adding 5 to " Sannoc" (the sandy bay), from Sand-vik, a common 
place-name. There are three Sannocs South Sannoc, Mid Sannoc, 
and North Sannoc, which the natives still call " Na Sannocan" 
{the Sannocs). 

The burying-place of Kilmichael (the Church of St Michael), 
from Kill (a cell, from Latin cella (a cell), and Micheil, the 
patron saint to whom the church was dedicated, is not marked on 
the six-inch scale map. 

If we ascend the North Glensannocs Burn we come to the 
Glen-du, marked by its Gaelic name Gleann dubh (the Black Glen) 
on the map, and between Glen-du and North Glen Sannocs, lies 
the hill called in Gaelic An Tunna (the Tun, or the vessel). 

To the north of North Glen Sannocs, are the Torr Reamhar 
(the Thick Hill), and the Crogan, probably another form of 
Cnocan (a little hill), although the Crogan seems to be more 
than 1000 feet above the level of the sea. But " Crogan" may be 
for " cracan" (a hill-side). 

Proceeding northwards, we come to Lagan (the little hollow), 
diminutive of Lag (a hollow) ; Creag ghlas (the grey hill), or it 
may be the green hill, for glas means grey, pale, and also 
green, and before we come to the " Cock" (an coileach), we find 



132 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Cuithe marked on the map, which signifies a pit, a trench, a deep 
moist place, and also a cattle fold. 

We now cross the water-shed into the Lochranza district. The 
glen through which the road passes is marked Glen Chalmadal on 
the map. It is plainly a Norse name, but I have not succeeded 
in making out the meaning of it. Dal is the same as the Gaelic 
dail, and the English dale, but I do not know the meaning of the 
first syllable. 

In this glen there are several names that are not marked on 
the map. One of them is Gortan na Ceardaich (the little field of 
the smithy). Gortan is the diminutive of gort (a field), the same 
as gart in Gartsherrie, Gartmore, <kc. The " Gortans" are very 
common in Arran. 

The first place we come to in Lochranza is Bolairidh (the fold 
of the shieling), from bol or buaile (a fold), and airidh (a shieling). 
On the opposite side of the burn is Narachan, which I cannot 
explain. Perhaps it is derived from nathair, gen. nathrach (a 
serpent). But as there are other Narachans, the name is probably 
descriptive. On the north side of the burn are also Torr Meadh- 
onach (the middle hill), Creag ghlas (the grey or green rock), 
Cnoc-nan-sgrath (the turf hill), and, on the shore, Rudha a r 
Chreagain Duibh (the headland of the black rock). 

Rising above Bolairidh is the hill of Torr-nead-an-eoin (the hill 
of the bird's nest), and farther south is Clachan, either the plural 
or the diminutive of clack (a stone). 

We pass now out of the parish of Kilbride (the Church of 
St Bridget), into the parish of Kilmorie (the Church of St Mary, 
that is, the church dedicated to St Mary). 

The first word that claims our attention now is Lochranza 
itself, from which the district takes its name. The earlier name 
was Keanlochransay or Kendlocheraynsay (the head of Lochransay). 
It was also called Lochede, which I take to mean Loch-head, or 
the head of the loch. 

Keanloch or Kendloch the first part of this word, is plain 
enough. It signifies Loch-head, or head of the loch, and the last 
syllable is also plain. It signifies an island, and is the same a or 
ay which occurs so frequently at the termination of the names of 
islands, as Jura, Islay, Colonsay, &c. Ranza is, therefore, the 
Island of Ran, but what is Ran ? The name of the giant goddess, 
the Queen of the sea, in Norse mythology, was Ran, so that, per- 
haps, Lochranza may have derived its name from this mythic 
goddess. But there is a word ran in Danish which signifies 
robbery, plunder, and, possibly, Ranza may signify the island of 



Arran Place Names. 



133 



plunder. These explanations are mere conjectures, and must be 
taken for what they are worth. The island was the place on 
which the castle stands, and which must have been at one time 
surrounded with water. 

Near the bay of Lochranza, on the south, is the Coillemore 
(the big wood), and nearer the village are two places marked on 
the map Urinbeg and Clachurin. Beg is the adjective beag (little), 
and clack is a stone ; but I do not know the meaning of urin. 

Other names of places at Lochranza are Margnaheglish (the 
Merkland of the Church), which was no doubt the land attached 
to an older church of Lochranza which occupied the site of the 
present Established Church which was built in 1795 (the old 
church is marked on a map published about 1640) ; Loch a 
Mhuilinn (the loch of the mill) ; a small loch marked on the map, 
Cnoc leacainn Duibhe (the knoll of the black hill-slope or declivity), 
and Doire buidhe (the yellow forest), above Catacol. 

The glen through which the stream, which divides the two 
parishes, passes, is named on tne map Gleann Easan Biorach (the 
glen of the pointed waterfalls). 

To the north of Catacol is a cairn, marked on the map 
Arfhionn, correctly Ar Fhinn (the slaughter of Finn) probably a 
corruption of some other name. At any rate, this word has not 
given its name to the Island of Arran. 

We come now to Catacol, which is for Catagil, which occurs in 
an old document. Cata, which signifies a kind of small ship, is 
the same word from which Caithness, from Kat-nes (the ship 
headland), takes its name ; and gil, which occurs very frequently 
in names of places, signifies a deep narrow glen with a stream at 
bottom. Catacol is, therefore, the glen of the Kata, or small ship, 
pointing, in all probability, to the time when ships anchored where 
are now cultivated fields. 

A small stream which falls into Catacol Bay, to the north of 
the larger stream that comes down Glencatacol, is marked on the 
map Abhainn bheag (the small river). 

A small loch, which sends a streamlet down into the Catacol 
river, is marked Lochan a' Mhill (the little loch of the hill). 
Meall, of which the genitive is mill, signifies a lump, a heap, a 
hill. 

" Craw" I have not seen in any older form, and, therefore, I can- 
not explain it with certainty. There is a Norse word lord, signi- 
fying a nook or corner, and a Gaelic word cro (an enclosure, a 
fold, a but), with either of which it may be identical. 

Lennymore is the great wet meadow. The word leana 



134 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

signifies a wet or swampy meadow grassy land, with a soft,, 
spongy bottom and is very common in Irish topography. 
Lenamore is the name of many townlands in the Irish counties. 

Thundergay * is called Torr-na-gaoith (the hill of the wind) by 
the natives of Arran ; but, as the old form of the word was Ton- 
regethy (back to the wind), the double r of Torr-na-gaoith seems 
to have arisen from the assimilation of n to r, a common phonetic 
change. 

Penrioch, of which Pennerevach was an older form, is Pfighinn- 
riabhack (the brindled or gray pennyland). 

Allt-gobhlach is the forked stream, from allt (a stream) and 
gobklach (forked). 

Whitefarland, or Whiteforland, is the white promontory or 
cape. 

Tobar Chaluimchille, between North and South Tundergay, i& 
St Columba's well. 

On the shore we find marked Rudha Airidh Bheirg, Rudha 
Glas, and Rudha Ban. There is a Gaelic word bearg which 
signifies a soldier, a champion, a marauder. If this be the word 
from which Rudha-airidh-Bheirg takes its name, the meaning 
would be the point or headland of the soldier's shieling. Rudha 
glas is the gray point or headland, or more probably the green 
point or headland ; for glas signifies both gray or pale white and 
green. Rudha ban is the white point or headland. 

To the south of Whitefarland is Leac-bhuidhe. Laac means a 
flat stone, and, therefore,- Leac-bhuidhe is the yellow flagstone. 
But this name may be Leaca-bhuidhe (the yellow hill-slope), from 
leaca, gen. leacainn (a hill-slope). 

* Also found written " Trurregeys." In reference to Tundergay, the 
following extract from Dr Joyce's " Irish Names of Places" seems to leave no 
doubt as to its meaning. " The Irish word ton signifies the backside, exactly 
the same as the Latin podex. It was very often used to designate hills, and 
also low-lying or bottom lands ; and it usually retains the original form ton 
as we see in Tonduff, Tonbaun, Tonroe black, white, and red backside 
respectively ; Toneel in Fermanagh, the bottom land of the lime. One 
particular compound, Ton-le-yaeith, which literally signifies "backside to the 
wind," seems to have been a favourite term ; for there are a great many hills 
all through the country with this name, which are now called Tonlegee 
Sometimes the preposition re is used instead of le both having the same- 
meaning and the name in this case becomes Toiiregee. In this last, a d is 
often inserted after the n (p. 57), and this, with one or two other trifling 
changes, has developed the form Tanderagee, the name of a little town in 
Armagh, and of ten townlands, all in the Ulster counties, except one in Meath, 
and one in Kildare." Joyce's " Irish Names of Places," 3rd Ed., p. 507. 



A nan Place Names. 135 

Imachar is written Tymochare and Tymoquhare in some 
ancient charters. T cannot at present say anything with certainty 
in regard to the meaning of this word, and conjectural interpreta- 
tions are of little value. 

The older form Baynleka shows that Ballickine is for Ban- 
leacainn (the white hillside or hill-slope). The word is a good 
example of the ease and certainty whith which words, that on the 
face appear difficult, can be explained when we get at their older 
forms. 

We come next to Dougrie, which is written Dowgare and 
Dougarre in old charters. These forms show plainly that the 
first part of this word is dubh (black) ; but they leave us in some 
uncertainty in regard to the second part gar or garre which 
may be either gara-dh (a den, a cave, also a thicket), or garradh 
(a garden). Garadh occurs in other place names, as Gleann- 
garadh (Glengarry) and Garadh-buidhe (the yellow thicket or 
shrubbery). 

lorsa, like Rosa, is Norse. The last syllable a means water, 
but it is difficult to say what the first syllable signifies. 

A stream, which falls into the lorsa water, is called Allt-na-k- 
airidh (the burn of the shielling). 

A small lake, at the head of Glen Scaftigill, is called Dubh 
Loch (the black loch). Loch Tana, which likewise empties itself 
into the lorsa water, means, piobably, the shallow loch. 1 say 
probably because I do not know exactly how the word tana is 
pronounced. 

Skaftigill is Norse. The last syllable means a narrow glen, 
and skaft is Danish, for English shaft, haft, handle. The corres- 
ponding Ice. word skapt occurs frequently in place-names, as 
skapta (shaft-river, Cf. the name Shafto), skaptar-Jell (shaft- 
mountain ; Cf., shap-fell ii Westmoreland). Skaftigill is, there- 
fore, shaft-glen. 

We come next to Achencar, a more recent form of Achachara 
(the field of the standing-stone), from achadh (a field), and caradh 
(a pillar or standing-stone), the place having taken its name from 
the pillar-stone still standing there. 

South of Achnacar, Cnocan cuallaich (the little hill of the 
cattle-herding). 

Farther south is Achagallon (in Gael., achaghalloin), which 
likewise means the field of the standing-stone, from achadh (a field) 
and gallan (a pillar or standing-stone*). 

* There is a standing-stone marked on the map above Auehaghalloin. 
Ghlaic Bhan (the white hollow) is between Auehaghalloin and Machrie. 



136 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

On the shore is Cleiteadh Buidhe (the yellow ridge of rocks), 
from deiteadh (a ridge of rocks in the sea) and buidhe (yellow). 

There is a little hill above Auchagallon set down on the map 
as Cnoc-na-ceille (the hill of wisdom), but the proper name, I 
understand, is Cnoc-na-cailligh (the hag's hill). 

We come next to Machaire (a field, a plain), a very common 
name, as might be expected, in Gaelic topography, both Scotch 
and Irish. 

The next name on the map is Torrmore (the big hill), from 
torr (a hill), and mor (great, big). There is also Torr-beg (the 
little hill). 

There is marked on the map a Torr-righ-beag (the king's little 
hill), which seems to be the name of a small hill, which is marked 
as being 350 feet above the level of the sea 

Between Torr-mor and the shore is Leacan ruadh (the red flag- 
stones) ; but I suspect Leacan should be Leacainn (a hill-slope), 
and Leacainn ruadh (the red hill-slope). 

Near Torr-righ-beag there is a place marked as An Cumhann, 
which means the strait, the defile. 

Near the shore, north from Druim-an-duin, is Cleiteadh-nan- 
Sgarbh (the cormorant rocks, or, more properly, ridge of rocks of 
the cormorants). 

We come now to Drumadoon ; in Gaelic, Druim-an-duin (the 
ridge of the fort), from druim (back, ridge), and duin (a fort) ; 
the Gaelic etymological equivalent of Eng. town, from Anglo- 
Saxon tun. 

I have already referred to Torr-beg (the little hill). 

The Eilean More, near Black-water Foot, is the big island. 

The Dubh Abhainn is the Black-water, and Black-water Foot 
is Bun- na-Dubh- Abhainn. 

Feorline, of which there are two South Feorline and North 
Feorline is the Farthing-land, as peighinn (penny) is Pennyland. 
Cnoc-na-Peighinn is the hill of the Pennyland. 

Ballygown is Smith town, from baile (town, town-land), and 
gobhann, gen. of gobha (smith). Cnoc Ballygoim is the hill of the 
smith-town. 

An t-Allt Beithe is Birchburn, the name by which it now 
seems to be best known. 

Shedog, in Gaelic Seidag or Seidog, is a diminutive formed by 
the feminine og or ag from seid corresponding, I have no doubt, 
to Scottish shed (a portion of land separate from another). 

Ballinacuil is the town or townland of the nook or corner. I 
have been told that this has been recently given to Mr Allan's 



Arran Place Names. 



137 



farm, and is in no way descriptive ; but I have been also told that 
the name is much older than at least the time of the present 
occupant. There are two parts of Balmichael Baile lochdarach 
(Lower Balmichael) and Baile Uachdarach (Upper Balmichael). 

Ballnamoine is baile na moine (the town or townland of the 
moss). 

Clachan, a derivative from clach (a stone), means a hamlet, and 
also a burying-place. 

Ballmichael is the town or townland of Michael. 

Sroin-na-carraige (the nose, or point of the rock), now forms 
part of the farm of Ballmichael. 

Gortan Dubh (the black little field) is near Balmichael. 

Sloe a' Mhadaidh (the pit or hole of the dog) is now part of 
the farm of Balmichael. 

Srath-na-Cliabh (the strath of the hurdles, or of the harrows*). 

On the Tormore side of the stream is Sliabh-na-Carrachan (the 
hill or moor of the standing-stones), the name having been taken 
from the standing-stones. 

On the same side is Cnocan-na-tubba (the little hill of the 
thatch), where, I suppose, turf for thatching the houses used to 
be cut. 

We come now to Dair-nan-each (the oak of the horses), or 
rather Daire-nan-each (the grove of the horses). 

Lag-an-Torra-Duibh (the hollow of the black hill) is the name 
of the wood below Dar-nan-each. 

Tarr-na-Creige (the extremity or tail of the rock) is probably 
for Torr-na-creige (the hill of the rock). 

Glaistre is for Glas-doire (the gray or green grove). In old 
documents the spelling is Glasdery. 

Monyquil was formerly written Monycole, which means the 
moss or bog of the hazel, from monadh (moss, bog), and col, gen, 
coil (hazel). 

The second part of Glenlaeg I cannot explain with any 
certainty. 

The glen through which the Shisken road passes is Gleann-an- 
t-suidhe (the glen of the seat), and the glen to the north of it is 
Gleann an Easboig (the bishop's glen). 

Shisken, from which the district which we have now traversed 
takes its name, is, in Gaelic, an sescenn, which means a boggy, 
marshy, or sedgy place, which, no doubt, was a correct description 
of the district when it received its name, although it has now a 
good many fertile fields. 

* There is a place here called Cra-le"ith, or something which sounds like 
that. 



138 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

[At this point, Dr Cameron's paper on Arran Place Names, so 
far as it was thrown into literary form, ends, leaving the south- 
western corner of the island, from Black water Foot to Pladda 
Isle, unfinished. Fortunately, he has left notes on the place- 
names of the district, and they are here reproduced as he left 
them, in order to complete his survey of Arran Place Names. The 
notes begin at Shisken, where he left off in the last section of his 
paper : 

Kilpatrick, for Cill-Phadraiythe Church of St Patrick. 
Bruthach Breac, speckled brae, near Kilpatrick. 
liudha Garbhard, for Rudha-garbh-hrd the rough high headland. 
Aird-nan-R6n, the height of the seals. 
Rinn-a'-Chrubain, the point of the crab-fish. 
Cnocan Donn, the brown hillock two places of this name. 
Cnoc Reamhar, the thick hill. 
Torr, the hill. 

Cnocan-a'-Chrannchuir, the hillock of the lot. 

Cor-na-beithe, the round hill of the birch, or the hollow of the birch. 
Lean-a'-Chneamh, the boggy land of the garlic. 
Torr an Daimh, the hill of the ox. 
Beinn-tarsuinn, the cross mountain. 
Loch-cnoc-an-Locha, the loch of the hill of the loch. 
Tormusk, the hill of the musket. 
Beinn Bhreac, the grey or brindled mountain 
Cnocan Biorach, the pointed hill. 
. Cnoc-na-Croise, the hill of the cross. 
Cnoc-a'-Chapuill, the hill of the horse. 
Cnoc-na-Dail, the hill of the meeting, or the hill of delay, but rather the 

former. 

Ross, for Ros, wood. The word also signifies a peninsula. 
Port-na-Feannaige, the port of the hoodie crow, or also, the port of the 

lazy bed. 

Cleiteadh Dubh, the black ridge of rocks. 
Cleiteadh, near Clachag farm. 
Sliddery (Pont has Sledroi}. 
Port M<5r, the large port, near Sliddery water. 
Glenscorrodale, from Scorradal by prefixing the Gaelic gleann. Skorradal 

is a place-name in Iceland. It is derived from skorri, apparently the 

name of a bird. Cf. Vigfusson. 
Glenree, for Oleann-righ the glen of the king ; or Glcann-reagh, for 

Gleann-riabhach the grey glen. 
Boguille, for boglach (?) a bog, a boggy place. 
Birrican, or Burrican. 

Bennicarrigan, the hill of the little rock ; but is Benni- for Penni- ? 
Clachaig, an inflected form of clachag ; Irish clochag or clochoge (a stony 

place, a place full of round stones) from clach or clock, stone. 
Lagg, for laya hollow. Laggan, for lagan the little hollow. 
Kilmory (St Mary's Church. See above). 

Shanachy, the old field. Cf. Shanaghy in Joyce's Place Names, II., p. 450. 
Torrylin, for torra-linn the tower or hill of the pool. 



Arran Place Names. 139 

Cloined, for cluain-fhad the long meadow ; or claoin-fhad, the long 

slope. Cf. Joyce, p. 224 and 400. 

Aucheleffen, for achadh-leth-pheighinn the half-penny field. 
Achareoch, for achadh-riabhach the grey field. 
Bogaire, a soft marshy place ; Na .Bogaire (plural), because there arc two 

places of the same name. 

Achenhew, for achadh-ed the field of the few. Cf. Joyce, I., p. 492. 
Levencorrach, for leth-pheighinn corrach the steep half-penny land. 
Bennan, for beannan the little hill. 
Pladda, old forms Pladow, Plada. 

[Seven or eight of the Western Isles are called Fladda respectively, 
the Icelandic island-name Flatey, flat island ; Pladda is a Gaelic 
variant of Fladda with /de-aspirated top. ED.] 

Dr Cameron, further, transcribed the names on Blaeu's map of 
Arran, published in the famous Atlas of 1662. The map of Arran 
was drawn by Timothy Pont, some fifty years previously. We 
have thought it best to reproduce the map in its entirety, to 
illustrate and add value to Dr Cameron's researches in Arran 
Places Names]. 



DR MACDONALD'S COLLECTION OF OSSIANIC POETRY. 
[INTRODUCTORY NOTE BY THE LATE REV. A. CAMERON, LL.D.*] 

A Collection of Ossianic Poetry, taJcoi down from Oral Recitation, 
by the Late Rev. Dr Macdonald of Ferintosh. 

In July, 1805, Dr Macdonald was licensed to preach ; and two 
months later he started, as stated, at the request of Sir John 
Sinclair, on an Ossianic tour throughout the North- Western High- 
lands. The object of his journey was to ascertain to what extent 
traditions of the Fingalians existed in the Highlands, and whether 
Ossian's poems were still remembered. 

In the course of that journey, Mr Macdonald took down from 
the recitation of several persons, whose names he has recorded, a 
small collection of Ossianic ballads, which afterwards passed, 
probably through Sir John Sinclair, into the possession of the 
Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, and is now 
deposited, together with other manuscripts belonging to the 
Society, in the Library of the Faculty of Advocates, Edinburgh. 

* Dr Macdonald' s Collection is printed in the 13th volume of our Tran- 
sactions, pp. 269-300, under the editorship of the late Dr Cameron. It wants 
the introduction which he wrote for it, and which has been found among his 
papers since his death. It is here printed to complete the edition of the 
Collection made bv Dr Macdonald. 



140 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Dr Macdonald's MS., which is in his own hand- writing, extends 
to fifty-two octavo pages. The MS. is written, apparently, with 
great care ; but the orthography is frequently inaccurate. In 
after years, Dr Macdonald acquired the art of writing Gaelic with 
considerable accuracy. 

Five of the ballads in this MS., including " The Battle of 
Ben Eadair," which is made up of more than one ballad, were 
published by the late Mr J. F. Campbell in his "Leabhar na 
Feinne ;" but, unfortunately, the transcripts from which he printed 
must have been inaccurate, for his printed copies abound with 
mistakes, which frequently render the places in which they occur 
quite unintelligible. Among those mistakes must be numbered 
the omission of lines, and sometimes of even whole verses con- 
tained in the original manuscript. 

We now print the entire MS. exactly as it was written by the 
collector, except that a few verbal changes have been made in the 
brief statements or " arguments" prefixed to the ballads. 
Amended versions of the ballads would, no doubt, be more readable, 
and, therefore, more interesting to general readers ; but those who 
take a real interest in the study of our Ossianic literature prefer 
exact transcripts of the manuscript collections, to which they may 
not themselves have convenient access, to amended versions, how- 
ever skilfully the editor may perform his task. We, therefore, 
print the ballads exactly as they were written by Dr Macdonald 
in September and October, 1805. A. C. 



27tk FEBRUARY, 1889. 

On this date Mr Malcolm M'Innes read a paper contributed by 
the Rev. Mr John Macrury, Snizort, entitled "A Collection of 
Unpublished Gaelic Poetry." Mr Macrury's paper was as follows : 

A COLLECTION OF UNPUBLISHED GAELIC POETRY. 

A Luchd-Comuinn mo ruin, Gu ma fada beo sibh fhein agus 
bhur Comunn. Tha mi anabarrach toilichte sibh a bhith soirbh- 
eachadh cho math anns an obair a ghabh sibh os laimh, agus ma's 
math am bliadhna gu ma seachd fearr an ath-bhliadhna. An uair 
a sgriobh an run-chleireach agaibh do m' ionnsuidh a dh'iarraidh 
orm rud eiginn a chur uige a chuireadh seachad greis de 'n 
oidhche dhuibh, gheall mi da gu'n cuirinn a dha no tri de sheann 



A Collection of Unpublished Gaelic Poetry. 141 

orain d' a ionnsuidh. Tha eagal orm nach cord iad ribh ; ach nam 
biodh ni b'fhearr agam gheibheadh sibh iad le deagh run. Fhuair 
mise na h-orain a leanas sgriobhta ann an leabhar beag a dh'fhag 
an t-Urramach Iain Tormad Domhnullach nach maireann, a bha 
'na mhinistear anns na h-Earradh. Sgriobh e iad ann an Uibhist 
o chionn sheachd bliadhna deug air fhichead. O'n a chaidh cuid 
de na h-orain a sgriobh e a chlo-bhualadh anns an " Oranaiche," 
agus ann an leabhar no dha eile, cha 'n 'eil feum dhomhsa an cur 
sios an so. Cha 'n 'eil fios agamsa nach 'eil cuid de na tha mi 'cur 
thugaibh air an clo-bhualadh cheana. Co dhiu tha gus nach 'eil, 
so agaibh iad facal air an fhacal mar a fhuair mise sgriobhta 
iad: 

LAOIDH FHRAOICH. 

An t-oglach o 'n d' f halbh a bhean, 
Ged a bha e seal 'na deigh, 
Uime sin na bi fo leann, 
Dh' imich o Fhionn a bhean fein. 

Dh' fhalbh a bhean o High nan Ruadha, 
J S bu cheannard e air sluagh cheud, 
Chuir i currach air an t-sal/ 
'S thug i gradh do mhac High Greig. 

Dh' fhalbh a bhean o 'n Ghlas mac Seirc, 
'S cha do dh' fhidir i 'rasg mall ; 
Cairioll, ged bu ghlan a ghnuis 
Rinn a bhean cuis air a cheann. 

Sud 's mac Ridir an Domhain Mhoir, 
Phronn e or f uidh dheud a mhna, 
Loisg is' e fuidh leinidh luim : 
'S mairg a ni muirn fuidh na mnai. 

Anagladh gach fear fo 'n ghrein, 
A bhean fein mu'n dean i lochd, 
Mu'ni bi i rithist 'na dheigh, 
Mar bha Moibh an deigh nan corp. 

Seachd righrean chuir i gu bas ; 
Gu'm bu mhor a cradh 's a lochd ; 
Fraoch is Cairioll agus Aodh, 
Is Conan caomh nan arm nochd, 



142 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Cuchullainn ri sgoltadh sgiath, 

Saor dian an fhaobhair ghil, 

Rosg mac Meaghaiche nan cliar, 

Nach d' ghabh fiamh roimh dhuin' air bith. 



Bhuail euslainte throm throm, 
Nigheann Moighre nan corn fial, 
Thainig i le fios gu Fraoch 
Dh'fhidir an laoch ciod e 'miann. 

Thuirt ise nach biodh i slan 

Gus 'm faigheadh i Ian a bas maoth 

De chaoireann an lochain fhuair, 

'S gun a dhol g' am buain ach Fraoch. 

Dh' fhalbh Fraoch 's cha bu ghill tiom' 
Shnamh e gu grinn air an loch ; 
Fhuair e 'bhiasd 'na siorram suain, 
'S a craoslach suas ris an dos. 

Thug e leis na caoireann dearg 
Dh' ionnsuidh Moighre 's i air tir ; 
" Fhir dha math dha 'n d' thig e uait 
Cha 'n fhoghainn sid a laoich luaidh 
Gun 'fhreimh a bhuain as a bhun." 

Dh' fhalbh Fraoch 's cha bu turus aidh, 
Shnamh e air an linne bhuig : 
Bu diochdair fhios da mar bha, 
'M b' e sud am bas da 'na chuid. 

Rug e air an dos air bharr, 
'S thug e na freimh as am bun, 
'N am dha 'chas a thoirt gu tir, 
Rug i air a ris a muigh ; 

Rug i air 's e air an t-snamh, 

'S liodraich i 'dheas lamh na craos, 

Rug esan oirrese air ghial ; 

'S truagh gun sgian a bhith aig Fraoch. 

Nigheann or-bhuidh' 's ceanna-bhuidh' fait, 
'S grad a thug thu 'n sgiath o 'n laoch ; 
Fraoch mac luthaich is a' bhiasd, 
J S truagh a chiall mu'n d' rinn iad stad. 



A Collection of Unpublished Gaelic Poetry, 143 

Comhrag 's cha bu chomhrag laoich 
Bh' eadar a' Fraoch 's a' bhiasd mhor, 
Gus 'n do thuit iad bonn ri bonn 
Air traigh an leac lorn a bhos. 

Thainig neultaidh as an Fheinn 

'S ghlac iad e 'nan lamhan bog'. 

" Ged tha thu '11 diugh an glaic an eig, 

'S iomadh euchd a rinn thu bhos. 

B' fhaide do shleagh na crann siuil, 
Bu bhinne na guth ciuil do ghuth ; 
Snamhaiche cho math ri Fraoch 
Cha do shin a thaobh air sruth. 

Bu duibhe thu na fitheach gearr dubh, 
'S deirge d' f huil na full a' bhraoin ; 
Sar mhilltiche nan sral 
'S gile na sin slios an laoich. 

An ceol ris an eisdeadh Fraoch, 
'S binne na ceileireadh lach air loch 
Langan an loin air a' charn 
Buireadh daimh air aird nan cnoc. 



ORAIST LUAIDH. 

7 S mi 'm aonar air airidh 'n leachduin, 

Luinneag 

Chall 6 hi-o-bho hi-hiirabh6, 
Chall 6ro-hi 'sa bho-hi, 
Na hi ri riobh6 hi hurabh6. 

'G amharc nam fear a' dol seachad, 

Chall o, etc. 
Cha tig mi mo roghainn asda, 

Chall o, etc. 
Chi mi na feidh air an leachdaich, 

Chall o, etc. 
'S iad a' falbh gu fiamhach, faiteach, 

Chall o, etc. 
Ged 'tha cha ruig iad a leas sud, 

Chall o, etc. 
'S an giomanach donn am pasgadh, 

Chall o, etc. 



144 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

'N ciste nam bord air a ghlasadh, 

Chall o, etc. 
'S ard a' ghrian air beanntalbh Uige, 

Chall o, etc. 
'S a' ghealach air beinn a' smudain, 

Chall o, etc. 
'S na feidh air leachdaich a' bhuiridh, 

Chall o, etc. 
Tha 'na chadal fear g' an dusgadh, 

Chall o, etc. 
'S an gunna breac air a chulaobh, 

Chall o, etc. 
An daga 's an adharc fhudair, 

Chall o, etc. 
Ge h-oil learn sin cha 'n e chiurr mi, 

Chall o, etc. 
Mo thriuir bhraithrean marbh gun dusgadh, 

Chall o, etc. 
'N fhuil a' reothadh air an culaobh, 

Chall o, etc. 
Bha mi fhin le m' bheul 'g a sughadh, 

Chall o, etc. 
Gus na rinn air m' anail tuchadh, 

Chall o, etc. 
Ge h-oil learn sin cha 'n e chiurr mi, 

Chall o, etc. 
Bhith 'ri gaol air an fhear a ruisg mi, 

Chall o, etc. 
'Fianuis cruinneachadh na duthchadh, 

Chall o, etc. 
'S mi m' aonar air airidh 'n leachduinn, 

Chall o, etc. 

'S mise a thug an ceannach 

Air bainne nigh'n Domhnuill, 
Hi urar ubhi-uo-h6-h\-ibho. 

Cha J n e uiheud 's a dh' ith mi, 

Dh' fhidir mi no dh' 61 mi. 

Challain eileadh ho hi ibho-ro-ho-le-adh, 
Challain urar ubhi hu-o-h6-hi-ibho, 
E ho hi-ri-ri hoirionn 6-ho-le-adh. 



A Collection of Unpublished Gaelic Poetry. 145 

Cha 'n e mheud 's a dh' ith mi, 
Dh' fhidir mi no dh' 61 mi, 

Hi urar ubhi-uo, ho-hi-ibho. 
No ro mheud mo shinead, 
Ach mi mhilleadh m' oige. 

Challain eileadh, etc. 

Tha mo bhraiste briste, 
Tha mo chrios 'na oirnean, 

Hi urar ubhi-uo, ho-hi-ibho. 
Mo gLruag anns na tollan, 
Mo phlaide 'na sroicean. 

Challain eileadh, etc. 

fhear de Chlaim Mhuirich, 
Mac Muire 'na thorachd, 

Hi urar ubhi-uo, ho-hi-ibho. 
Nam faicinn do bhirlinn 
Fo 'h-eideadh a' seoladh. 

Challain eileadh, etc. 

Air m' fhalluing nam faiceadh, 
Gu rachainn na codhail, 

Hi urar ubhi-uo, ho-hi-ibho. 
Gu'n deanainn mo ghearainn, 
Ris an t-seobhag sheolta. 

Challain eileadh, etc. 

Bhiodh Raoghnull Mac Ailein, 
Air toiseach mo thorachd, 

Hi urar ubhi-uo, ho-hi-ibho. 
Gu'm biodh ni nach b'iogfhnadh 
Bhiodh Raoghriull Mac Dhomhnuill. 

Challain eileadh, etc. 

Ou'm biodh ni gun tagradh 
Bhiodh dalta nan Leodach, 

Hi urar ubhi-uo, ho-hi-ibho. 
Gaol nam ban a Lathurn, 
Aighear ban na Mor-thir. 

Challain eileadh, etc. 

10 



H6 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Trom-cheist nam ban Ileach, 
'S ann diubh Sile 's Seonaid, 

Hi urar ubhi-uo, ho-hi-iblio. 
Nam faicinn mo leannan 
'Tighinn an coir na buaileadh. 

Challain eileadh, etc. 

Gu'm paisginn an cuman, 
Gu'n lunnainn a' bhuarach, 

Hi urar ubhi-uo, ho-hi-ibho. 
Fear an aodainn shoilleir 
Fo thaghadh na gruaige, 

Challain eileadh, etc. 

Gu'n aithnichean do bhuidheann 
A' tighinn o 'n mhointich, 

Hi urar ubhi-uo, ho-hi-ibho. 
Air ghilead an leintean 
'S air dheirgead an cota. 
Challain eileadh, etc. 

Air ghuirmead an triubhais 
'S air.dhuibhead am brogan, 

Hi urar ubhi-uo, ho-hi-ibho. 
Air gheiread an iubhair 
Fo uidheam an dorlaich. 

Challain eileadh, etc. 

Sgiath o bharr an iubhair 

'S claidheamh caol de 'n t-seorsa, 

Hi urar ubhi-uo, ho-hi-ibho. 
Bhiodh pocaideaii fudair 
Trom dumhail air t'olaich. 

Challain eileadh, etc. 

Ach a High mo chuirre, 

Chuir mi 'n luib nan Tuathach, 

Hi urar ubhi-uo, ho-hi-ibho. 
lomlaid na ba dara 
Chuir mo ghradh an gruaim rium. 

Challain eileadh, etc. 



A Collection of Unpublished Gaelic Poetry. 147 

Cho do rinn nigh'n Raoglmuill 
An fhaoghlum bu dual di, 

Hi urar ubhi-uo, ho-hi-ibho. 
Cha d' thug i dhomh beanuag, 
Gu falach mo ghruaige. 

Challain eileadh, etc. 

Ach sguilein beag salach 
De 'n anart bu shuaraich, 

Hi urar ubhi-uo, ho-hi-ibho. 
Eagal mi bhi nasgaidh, 
O'n mhasl' ud a fhuair mi. 

Challain eileadh, etc. 

'S mise 'thug an ceannach 
Air baiime nigh'n Domhnuill. 
Hi urar, etc., etc. 

Tha oran eile an so a rinn an Dall mor mac Neill Mhuilich, 
agus cuiridh mi e m' a choinneamh an orain a chuir mi sios mar 
tha: "Do Alasdair Domhnullach, Bhalaidh ann an Uibhist a' 
Chmn-a-Tuath, air dha tighinn dhachaidh as an Taobh-Deas, far 
an robh e car uine air son a shlainte. Le Alasdair Domhnullach 
ris an cainte an Dall mor mac Neill Mhuilich." 

Do bheatha dhachaidh o 'n chuan sgith, 

Fhir Bhalaidh nan lann liomhaidh geur, 
Fan lann sgaiteach claiseach cruaidh, 

Seobhag na h-uasal' 's mor speis. 

Mo cheisd air ceannard an t-sluaigh, 

Anns an ruaig a b' eutrom ceum, 
'S leomhan guineach thu 'n robh spid 

Am beul firinneach gun bhreig. 

'S iomadh banntrach air a gluin, 

A ghuidh 'na h-urnuigh dhuit deagh sgeul, 

Agus dilleachdan gun treoir 

Leis 'm bu deonach dhol fo d' sgeith. 

Rinn na leannachdan thu slan 

Le toil 's le fabhar Mhic Dhe, 
Ghairm na seobhaig amis a' chos, 

" Theid am fasgadh oinin gu leir," 

Do bheatha dhachaidh o'n chuan sgith. 



148 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Rann a rinneadh ann am Baile nan Cailleach, am Beinne- 
bhaoghla, do Bob Domhnullach mac an t-Saoir, piobaire Raogh- 
nuill oig Mhic 'ic Ailein, Tighearna Chlann Raoghnuill, le Alasdail 
(Dall) Domhnullach, ris an cainte Alasdair mor mac Neill 
Mhuilich 

Oidhche dhomh 's mi ann am chadal, 
Chuala mi sgal pioba moire, 
Dh'eirich mi ealamh a' m' sheasamh, 
Dh'aithnich mi 'm fleasgach a bhual i. 
Bha da leomhain orr' a' beadradh 
Claidheamh is sleagh air an cruachaiu, 
Bha fear dhiubh o '11 Chaisteal Tioram 
Grunn de na dh'imich mu'n cnairt da. 
Mac a Mhor-fhear a Dun-Tuilin, 
Gu'n d'labhair sAilbhearr suairc, 
Druidibh ri 'cheiie 'Chlann Domhnuill, 
Leanaibh a' choir mar bu dual duibh. 
Rob Mac Dhomhnuill Bhain a Raineach, 
Boineid is breacan an cuaich air 
Bha suil leomhain 's i 'na aodan, 
Coltas caonuaig 'dol 'san ruaig air. 
Chluich e " corr-bheinn" air a' mhaighdinn 
(Ceol a's caoirnhneil' chaidh ri m' chluasan). 
Nach iarr biadh, no deoch, no eideadh, 
Ach aon leine chur mu'n cuairt dhi ; 
Chluich e air maighdinn Chlann Raoghnuill, 
Rob a leannan graidh 'g. a pogadh, 
Meal do mheodhair, meal do mheoirean ; 
Meal do chuimhne 's do gloir shiobhalt' ; 
Meal do phiob-mhor, 's meal do Ghailig. 
Do mhaighistir dh'fhag an rioghachd, 
Iain Muideartach mor nam bratach ; 
Raoghnull a mhac thojj;as ire, 
'S coma learn co ghabhas anntlachd, 
'Se Rob maighstir gach piobair', 
Bha 3 n urram greis an siol Leoid ac' ; 
'Nuair 'bha 'n oinnseach aig na daoin' ud. 
Bha i 'n sin aig Clann Mhic Artuir 
Piobair sgairteach na caonnaig, 
Tha i nis 's a' Chaisteal-Tioram, 
'S ait leis an fhinne so 'faotainn, 
Fhad 's a dh'fhanas Rob 'na bheo-shlaint' 
Gleidhidh Clann Domhnuill an Fhraoich i. 



A Collection of Unpublished Gaelic Poetry. 149 

AN OIGH FHOLUIMTE. 

DOMHNULL FRIBKAL (Rosmarkie), Ball de 'n Chomunn Oiseinneach. 
AIR FONN " 'Nuuir tliig an Samhradh geugach oirnn" 

A cheolraidh bhinn nan coilltichean, 
Do m' mhaighdinns' biodh 'ur n-oran-sa ; 
'N te fhoinnidh, bhaigheil, bhoillsgeanta, 
'N te fhoinnidh, chaoimhneil, chomhraiteach, 
'N te mheallach, chanach, fhurmailteach, 
'N te shugach shunndach, mhor-mhaiseach, 
'N te rnhalda, narach, ionnsaichte, 
Gun lurdanach, gun bhosdalach. 

Air inneal-ciuil nam baintighearnan, 
Gur pongail, aghmhor, eolach i ; 
'S i ealanta 'g a' laimhseachadh 
'S a binn-guth graidh 'g a chordadh ris 
An t-seis a bheireadh faothachadh 
Do theasaich ghaoil nan oigearan ; 
Am fonn a dheanadh maothachadh, 
Air buadhan dhaoine teo-chridheach. 

'S ard fhoghluimt' anns an cainntibh i, 

'S gu'm b'annsa learn a h-oraidean, 

Na'ii ceileir ceolmhor bardail ud 

A thig o 'n challduinn chrochd-mheuraich ; 

Gu'n labhair i gu deiseil 

A chainnt Eadailteach is Romhanach, 

'S gu fuaimnich i gu h-eagarra 

A' Ghailig bheadarr' oranach. 

Mar sgeimh na maiclne samhraidh i, 

'Nuair bhios gach gleann fo fhluraichean, 

'S a bhios baird bheaga 'canntaireachd, 

Am barr nan crann le surdalachd, 

'S na h-osagan gu faun-sheideach 

A' siudadh nam meang cuirneineach, 

Is toroman binn nan altan 

Ann an greannmhoireachd a' tuirling oirnn. 



150 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

DUANAG DO 'N CHOMUNN OISEINEACH. 
LE BAUD. 

AIR FONN " Tha tighinn fodham eiridh." 

Deoch slaint' a' Chomuinn Oiseinich, 
'S e sin an Comumi salasach, 
Comunn glan nan oganach, 
A sheasadh coir na Feinne. 

Tha tighimi fodham, fodham, fodham, 
Tha tighinn fodham, fodham, fodham, 
Tha tighinn fodham, fodham, fodham, 
Tha tighinn fodham eiridh. 

'S e sin an Comunn dealasach, 
Tha snaoim a' ghaoil 'gan teannachadh ; 
Bidh suain aig Gaill a' bhaile so, 
Mu'n dealaich iad ri cheile. 
Tha tighinn fodham, etc. 

Mo bheannachd aig na fleasgaichean, 
Na Gaidheil ghasda theas-chridheach, 
Oa'm bheil an comhradh deas-chainnteach, 
Gun eisiomail do 'n Bheurla, 
Tha tighinn fodam, etc. 

'S i 'Ghailig cainnt nam fineachan, 

'S i 'Ghailig cainnt ar cridheachan, 

'S i 'dhuisgeas blaths is cinneadas ; 

Cha 'n ionnan i 's a' Bheurla. 

Tha tighinn fodham, etc. 

'S i so ar canain mhathaireil, 

! 's caoimhneil agus baigheil i ; 

Gur math gu deanamh manrain i ; 

Gu brath cha leig sinn eug i. 

Tha tighinn fodham, etc. 

Lionaibh mar a b' abhaist duibh, 
Na glaineachan le gairdeachas, 
Gu aiseirigh na Gailig 

Is gu buille bais na Beurla. 
Tha tighinn fodham, etc. 



The Shelling. 151 

The following note was appended to this song by the collector 
of the songs given in this paper, in October 30, 1854 : 

"The author of * Duanag do 'n Chomunn Oiseineach' is not 
certain. It was sung for the first time at the first dinner of the 
Society in the Argyll Hotel, in Glasgow, on the 14th January, 
1833 (for which occasion, I was told, it was composed), by Mr 
Macpherson, F.O.S. It is written down in the first volume of the 
Minutes of the Society, after a long account given of the dinner, 
and is known very little beyond that. It is sometimes, but not 
often, sung at the annual dinners. (Signed) " J. N. M'D. 

"October 30, 1854." 



6th MARCH, 1889. 

At this meeting the Rev. Charles Macdonald, Mingarry, Loch- 
shiel, Salen, Suinart, was elected a member of the Society. 
Thereafter the Secretary read a paper, contributed by Mrs Mary 
Mackellar, on " The Sheiling, its Traditions and Songs, Part II." 
Mrs Mackellar's paper was as follows : 

THE SHEILING: ITS TRADITIONS AND SONGS. 
PART II.* 

The maiden of the sheiling has been an object of special 
interest in all pastoral countries, and was frequentlv the theme of 
the poet, in all ages and in all countries 

" 'Tis not beneath the burgonet, 

Nor yet beneath the crown, 
'Tis not on couch of velvet, 

Nor yet on bed of down ; 
'Tis beneath the spreading birk, 

In the dell without a name, 
Wi' a bonnie, bonnie lassie, 

When the kye come name." 

So sang the Lowland bard, but no song on the maid of the sheiling 
can surpass that of our own Alexander Macdonald " Mac 
Mhaighstir Alasdair." Was ever a maiden's hair praised more 
than in the following verse 1 

* For the first part of this paper see volume 1 4 of Society's Transactions, 
page 135. 



152 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

11 Chuireadh maill' air mo leirsinn, 
Ann an driuchd mhaduinn Ch&tein, 
Na gathannan greine, 
'Thig bho 'teud-chul cas 'faineach." 

Translation. 
My eyes were dazzled 
In the early morning of dewy May, 
By the sunbeams that flashed from her curling locks, 
That were bright as the golden strings of the harp. , 

In another verse he says 

" 'S taitneach siubhal a cuailein, 
Ga chrathadh mu 'cluasan, 
A' toirt muigh air seist-luachrach, 
An tigh-buaile 'n gleann-fasaich." 

Translation. 

Beautiful is the motion of her locks 
As they flash and shake about her ears, 
As on her bed of rushes she churns the butter 
In her shelling in the lonely glen. 

This reference to the churning the butter on the bed indicates 
that it was the vessel known as the " imideal," that I explained 
about in my former paper, that is referred to here, for two girls 
sat on the bed shaking this vessel until they produced butter. 

It is interesting to know that our first recorded romance of 
the shelling is to be found in the Book of Genesis, when Jacob 
met his fair young kinswoman, Rachel, as she tended her father's 
flocks. The first meeting, with its tears and kisses, is full of 
romantic interest. Afterwards, the years of service given for her, 
and, notwithstanding her waywardness, the poetic love with which 
the patriarch clung to her memory to the end of his long life, 
must command our admiration. " As for me," said he, " when I 
came from Padan, Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan in the 
way, when yet there was but a little way to come into Ephrath ; 
and I buried her there in the way of Ephrath, the same is 
Bethlehem ;" and the patriarch was then dying in extreme old 
age. 

Another ancient romance of the shelling is that of Cormac, King 
of Ireland, which is worthy of being commemorated. Cormac, son 
of Art, was the grandson of Conn of the Hundred Fights Conn- 
ceud-cathach from whom his descendants, the Macdonalds, 



The Shelling. 153 

take the title of " Siol-Chuinn." Cormac was one day- 
riding through a forest near his own castle, when 
he beheld a lovely young maiden milking cows at some distance. 
He reined in his steed under the boughs of a tree, and with 
admiration watched the grace of the maiden's actions as she, with 
a cheerful manner, went about her humble duties. She went 
home with her milkpails to a little cot that stood near, and then 
returned singing gladly in a low sweet voice whilst attending to- 
the wants of the milky mothers. She had not noticed him, but 
he approached her cautiously lest he should alarm her. She 
attempted to flee away when she saw him, but with his adroitness 
he set her at ease, and soothed her into confidence. He pretended 
ignorance of cows and dairy labour ; he asked her about the separat- 
ing of milk from strappings, and was surprised that she preferred 
fresh rushes to rotten, and clean water to brackish. The girl 
modestly gave him all the information he wished, and in the 
course of conversation she mentioned the name of her foster- 
father, and then he knew that Eite, the daughter of Dunluing, 
stood before him, and that her foster-father was Buiciodh Brughach 
who had been a rich grazier in Leinster, and was ruined by the 
munificence of his hospitality. The Leinster gentry who used ta 
be his guests began to consider his goods their own, and when 
they left his house they took whatever number they fancied of his 
cows. They soon ruined the princely farmer, and so he left home 
quietly, and travelled until he came to a forest in Meath, resolving 
to spend his days retired and unknown with his wife and Eite, or 
as she is sometimes called Eithne. The meeting of Cormac with 
the fair girl led to her becoming his wife, and her foster-father got 
ample land and herds near the palace of Tara. The daughter of 
Cormac and Eite became the wife of Fionn Mac Cumhaill, Mac 
Treuna-mhoir, and thus the maid of the Sheiling was the grand- 
mother of Ossian, the royal bard. 

One of the romantic incidents of the sheiling was the fairy 
lover, and some of the songs concerning those are still to be heard 
among the old people. This " leannan-sith," or fairy lover, waa 
able at times to win the love of the maid of the sheiling in no 
ordinary manner ; and fairy women, in the guise of milkmaids, 
have been known to win the affection of the herdsman who on the 
mountain side attended his flocks. There is a fairy lullaby of 
which I only know a fragment. It w r as composed by the 
" leannan-sith " when the maid of the sheiling, who was the 
mother of his child, had become cruel and laid his little baby -boy 
to cry himself to death on the hill-side near the father's uncanny 



154 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

home. The poor unhappy man came to the relief of his child, 
and in his song he is promising every thing good to his " Morag" 
if she obeys nature'* call and comes to her son. Morag it seems 
went to look after her herds, and turned a deaf ear to his weird 
singing and his deep distress. The melody of this song is very 
sweet and plaintive, as are all those known as " Fonn-s\th," fairy 
melody. The words run as follows : 

" A Mhor, a Mhor, 
A Mh6r, a Mh6r, 
A Mhor, a Mh6r, 
Taobh ri d' mhacan ; 

A hubh a ho ! 
'S gheibh thu goidean 
B6idheach bhreac uam. 

A hubh a ho, 

A hubh a Ii6 ! 
Laogh do chuim, 
An cois an tuim, 
Gun teine, gun dion, gun fhasgadh. 

A Mhor, a ghaoil, 
Till ri d' mhacan, 
'S gheibh thu goidean, 
Boidheach bhreac uam. 

A hubh a h6 ! 
Gheibheadh tu fion, 
'S gach ni b'ait leat, 
Ach nach eirinn 
Leat 's a' mhaduinn, 

A hubh a h6, 

A hubh a ho ! 
Ged nach eirinn leat 's a' mhaduinn. 

Bha '11 ce6 's a' bheinn, 

Bha 'n ce6 's a' bheinn, 

Bha '11 ce6 's a' bheinn, 

'S uisge frasach. 

'S thachair ormsa, 

A ghruagach thlachdmhor. 

A hubh o ho, 

A hubh o h6 ! 
A nighean nan gamhna, 
Bha mi ma' riut, 
Anns a' chr6 
Is each na'n cadal. 



The Shelling. 

An daoith gheal donn, 
An daoith glieal donn, 
An daoith gheal donn, 
Rug i mac dhomh. 

A hubh a h6 ! 
Ged is fuar 
A rinn i altrum, 

A hubh a ho 1 
A Mh6r, a Mh6r, 
Till ri d' mhacan, 
'S glieibh thu goidean, 
Boidheach bhreac uam. 

A nighean nan gamhna, 

Bha mi ma 'rint, 

A nighean nan gamhna, 

A nighean nan gamhna 

Bha mi ma' riut, 

Anns a chr6 

'Us each nan cadal, 

A hubh a h6! 
A nighean nan gamhna, 
Bha mi ma' riut, 
Anns a' chro 
'Us each nan cadal. 

A Mhor, bheag dhonn, 
Nach till thu rium, 
A Mhor, bheag dhonn, 
Nach till thu rium, 

A hubh a h6 ! 
Mi caoidh do mhicein 
Air an t-sliabh. 

A hubh a h6, 

A hubh a h6 ! 
'S a bhialan min 
Ri m' fheusag liath. 

'S tu direadh bheann, 
'S a' teirneadh bheann, 
A' direadh bheann, 
'S a' teirneadh bheann. 
A hubh ah6! 



156 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

'S na laoigh air chall 
A' direadh bheann, 
'S a' teirneadh bheann. 

A hubh. o h6, 

A hubh o ho ! 
Gu sgith, flinch , fuar, 
'S na laoigh air chall. 

A Mh6r, a Mh6r, 
Till ri d' mhacan, 
'S gheibh thu goidean, 
Boidheach bhreac uam. 

A hubh a h6 ! 
Laogh do chuim 
Ri taobh cnocain, 
Gun teine, gun tuar, 
Gun fhasgadh. 

A hubh o ho, 

A hubh o ho ! 
'S gheibh thu fion uam 
'S g^ich ni 's ait leat, 
Ach nach eirinn leat 'sa a mhaduinn." 

Another unfortunate girl was at the sheiling with her com- 
panion ; and, when out on the hillside, she made the acquaintance 
of a fairy lover, to whom she was most devoted. She used to 
steal away every evening to meet him in a cosy hiding place 
surrounded by trees of holly and mountain ash, and although her 
companion watched her, she could not find out where she was 
going. At last she asked her to confide in her, promising that the 
secret would come through her knee before it came through her 
lips. The maiden then told her where she went every evening, 
and the other soon revealed the secret ; and the girl's brothers 
went to the place, and found the lover resting on a bed of straw 
that the maiden had made for him at their trysting place. The 
lover, who was probably human enough, was slain by the angry 
young men, and the girl, on getting near the place, saw them 
ride away; and on going to her lover, she found him slain. 

The poor girl died of sorrow, and composed the following song, 
in which she bitterly reproaches her companion for unfaithful- 
ness : 

" Far am biodh mo leannan falaich, 

Cha b'ioghna mise a bhi ann, 
Faile nan ubhlan meala, 

Dhe 'n fhodar a bha fodh cheann. 



The Shelling. 157 

Ille bhig, ille bhig, hugaidh o, 

Hugaidh o, hugaidh o, 
Ille bhig, ille bhig, hugaidh o, 

Dh'fhag thu 'n raoir gun sugradli mi. 

Chith mi mo thriuir bhraithrean thall ud, 

Air an eachaibh loma luath, 
Sgiauan beaga aca ri 'n taobh, 

Is fail mo ghaoil a' sileadh uath. 
Ille bhig, etc. 

Cha teid raise a chro nan laoighean, 

'S cha teid mi do chr6 nan uan, 
'S cha teid mi do chr6 nan caorach, 

Bho nach 'eil mo ghaoilean buan. 
Ille bhig, etc. 

Chi mi 'n toman caoruinn cuilinn, 

Chi mi 'n toman cuilinn thall, 
Chi mi 'n toman caoruinn cuilinn, 

'S laogh mo cheill air 'uilinn ann. 
Ille bhig, e'c. 

A phiurag* ud 's a phiurag eiie, 

'S mairg a leigeadh riut a run, 
Gur luaithe a thainig an sgeul ud 

Troimh do bheul, no troimh do ghlun. 
Ille bhig, etc. 

Ach a nighean ud 's an dorus, 

Na' robh na fir ort an run, 
Sgoltadh a bhradain fhior-uisg, 

Eadar do dha chioch 's do ghlun. 
Ille bhig, etc. 

A luaidh ud 's a luaidh ud eile, 

Cha bhi mi na d' dheighidh buan, 
'S goirt a reubadh leo mo chridhe, 

Gaol nan gillean a thoirt uam. 
Ille bhig, etc. 

'S a chraobh chaoruinn a tha thall ud, 

Ma 's ann ort a theid mi 'n chill, 
Tionndabh in' aghaidh ri Dun-tealbhaig,f 

'S bheirear dhomhsa carbad grinn. 
Ille bhig, etc." 

* Some say it- wa her sister that betrayed her, but we think not, 
Piuthrag" being the term for confidential friend, 
t A fairy hill. . 



158 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

There is another fragment of a song of this kind which i& 
said to have been composed by a young man who was travelling the 
mountain side, when he met a young woman of great beauty, who 
pretended to be a maid of the sheiling. She fascinated him with 
her charms of looks and manner, and when she asked him to 
become her herdsman, he followed her, to find she had deceived 
him, and her beauty was only seeming. She was one of the weird 
women of the fairy hills, and he regrets having met her. We 
have heard this sung as a lullaby, and also as a waulking song. 
The melody is very fine 

" A chailin og a stiuradh mi, 

Chailiii iu 6, hog hi ho ro, 

Hog i ho, na h6 ro eile, 
'Chailin 6g a stiuradh mi. 

Latha dhomh 's mi siubhal fasaich, 

Chailin og. 
Thachair cailin mhin gheal bhan orm, 

Chailin og. 
Sheall i na m' ghnuis 's rinii i gaire, 

Chailin og. 
Sheall mise na gnuis 's bhuail an gradh mi, 

Chailin og. 
Bhuaileadh le saighead a' bhais mi, 

Chailin og. 
Mheall i mo chridhe le 'blath-shuil, 

Chailin og. 
Bha a gruaidh mar shuthan garaidh, 

Chailin og. 
Dath an oir air a cul faineach, 

Chailin og. 
Thuirt i rium le guth binu gaireach, 

Chailin og. 
Buachaill thusa, banachag mise, 

Chailin og. 
B' feairde banachag buachaill aice, 

Chailin og. 
Theid e mach ri oidhche fhrasaich, 

Chailin og. 
Cuiridh e na laoigh am fasgadh, 

Chailin og. 



The Shelling. 159 

Lubaidh c i fhein na bhreacau, 

Chailin og. 
Caidlidh iad gun sgios, gun airsneul, 

Chailin og. 
'S eutrom dh'eireas iad 's a' mhaduiim, 

Chailin og." 

Weird women of the fairy race were said to milk the deer on 
the mountain tops, charming them with songs composed to a fairy 
melody or " fonn-sith." One of these songs is said to be the 
famous " Crodh Chailein." I give the version I heard of it, and 
all the old people said the deer were the cows referred to as giving 
their milk so freely under the spell of enchantment : 

" Chrodh Chailein, mo chridhe, 

Crodh Iain, mo ghaoil, 
Gun tugadh crodh Chailein, 

Am bainn' air an fhraoch. 

Gun chuman, gun bhuarach, 

Gun lao'-cionn, gun laogh, 
Gun ni air an domhan, 

Ach monadh fodh fhraoch. 

Crodh riabhach breac ballach, 

Air dhath nan cearc-fraoich, 
Crodli 'lionadh nan gogan 

'S a thogail nan laogh. 

Fo 'n dluth-bharrach uaine, 

'S mu fhuarain an raoin, 
Gun tugadh crodh Chailein 

Dhomh 'm bainn' air an fhraoch. 

Crodh Chailein, mo chridhe, 

'S crodh Iain, ino ghaoil, 
Gu h-uallach 's an eadar-thrath, 

A beadradh ri 'n laoigb." 

Mrs Grant of Laggan gave a free translation of this old song, and 
it had the distinction of having given its name to a distinguished 
Literary Club in Edinburgh. This club met regularly at a tavern 
in the Anchor Close, kept by one Daniel Douglas, who knew 
Gaelic, and whose favourite song was " Crodh Chailein." He was 
called upon to sing it at the close of every jovial evening. 
Robert Burns, when in Edinburgh, was a regular attendant at thi& 



160 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

club, and he celebrated it in more than one song. It was of 
Smellie, the antiquarian, that he sang 

" As I cam' bye Crochallan 
I keekit cannily ben, 
Rantin', roarin' Willie 
Was sitting at yon board en', 
Sitting at yon board en', 
And among gude company, 
Rantin', rovin' Willie, 
Ye're welcome hame tae me." 

Burns visited Edinburgh in 1787, and on the 1st of January, 
1788, the death of Mr Daniel Douglas was announced in the pub- 
lic papers, and he is deserving of some notice from us, as he made 
our simple little song of the sheiling a classic ; and Burns, who 
delighted in "Crodh Chailein," gave the song to the world 
that superseded it, and that ends every meeting of Scots- 
man in good fellowship "Auld Lang Syne." Of all influences 
to soothe an irritated or sulky cow, and make her give her milk 
willingly, this song is considered the most powerful. Highland 
cows are considered to have more character than the Lowland 
breeds, and when they get irritated or disappointed, they retain 
their milk for days. This sweet melody sung not by a stranger, 
but by the loving lips of her usual milkmaid often soothes her 
into yielding her precious addition to the family supply. There 
are other verses sung to this melody which have rather a tragic 
story. A man was suspected of having killed his wife, and the 
unfortunate woman's brothers came to charge him with the 
murder, and to avenge her death. As they came to the door late 
at night, they heard the man whose life they sought crooning this 
plaintive song to his little motherless child. As they listened to 
his words of sorrow, they sheathed their dirks, and returned home, 
convinced that he was not the slayer of the woman he mourned in 
such pathetic verses. This set of the words became as popular 
with milk-maids as the " Crodh Chailein" set : 

" Cha till mo bhean chomainn, 
Cha till mo bhean ghaoil, 
Cha till mo bhean chomainn, 
Bean thogail nan laogh. 

Thig barr air a' ghiubhas, 
Thig duilleach air craoibh, 
Thig ruinn air an luachair, 

'S cha ghluais mo bhean ghaoil. 



The Sheiling. 161 

Cha tig Mor, mo bhean, dachaigh,, 
Cha tig M6r, mo bhean ghaoil, 
Cha tig mathair mo Icinibh, 
A laighc ri m' thaobh. 

Thig na gobhra do 'n mhainnir, 
Beiridh aighean duinn laoigh, 
Ach cha tig mo bhean dachaigh 
A' clachan nan craobh. 

Thig Mart oirnn, thig Foghar, 
Thig todhar, thig buar, 
Ach cha tog mo bhean luinneag, 
Aig bleoghann, no buain. 

Cha dirieh mi tulach, 
Cha shiubhail mi frith, 
Cha 'n fhaigh mi lochd cadail, 
'S rno thasgaidh 's a chill. 

Tha m' aodach air tolladh, 
Tha m' olann gun shiomh, 
Agus deadh bhean mo thighe, 
'Na laighe fodh dhion. 

Bidh mo chrodhsa gun leigeil; 
'S an t-eadradh aig each, 
Tha mo leanabh gun bheadradh, 
Na shuidh air an lar. 

Tha m' fhardochsa creachta, 
'S lorn mo leac, 's gur a fuar, 
Tha m' ionmhas 's mo bheairteas, 
Fo 'na leacan na auain. 

Uist a chagarain ghradhaich, 
Caidil samhach a luaidh, 
Cha tog caoineadh do mhathair, 
As a tamh anns an uaigh." 

To sing to the cows was always a sure sign of a good dairy- 
maid. Sometimes the song was improvised in praise of the 

11 



162 Gaelic Society of Inverness- 

particular cow ; sometimes there was not much sense in it, but 
words strung together to a pleasing air, such as the following : 

" Gaol a chruidh, gradh a chruidh, 
Gaol a chruidh mheall mi, 
Gaol a chruidh cheann-fhionn, 
J A thug mi do 'n ghleann learn. 
Gaol a chruidh, gradh a chruidh, 
Gaol a chruidh chiar-dhubh, 
Gradh a chruidh dhriomuin-duibh, 
Aghan learn fhin thu." 

When a dairymaid in Mull was milking a young cow, of whose 
pedigree she was proud, she sang to her saying 

" Ogha Ciaraig iar-ogh Duinneig, 

Cha 'n fhaigh Mac Iain Ghiarr a' Muil thu." 

Mac Iain Ghiarr was a wild reaver of the seas on the West Coast. 
He was of good family, being of the Macdonalds of Mingarry in 
Ardnamurchan. His mother had been early left a widow, and she 
married a farmer in Mull ; and one of Mac Iain Ghiarr's feats was 
in after years, when his mother died to steal her body away 
by night, in order to bury her with his own father. He had a 
boat painted white on the one side and black on the other which 
gaVe rise to the proverb Taobh dubh us taobh ban a bh 'air 
bata mhic Iain Ghiarr. This was the boat that was so useful to 
him because no one that saw a white boat go up the loch in the morn- 
ing thought it was one and the same with the black boat they saw 
returning in the evening. Mac Iain Ghiarr had been listening to 
the dairymaid who was singing to her favourite young cow, and 
he replied, although she did not hear 

" A bhean ud thall ris an t-sior bhleoghann 
Bheir mi 'n dubh 's an donn 's a chiar uat 
'S dusan de na aighean ceud-laoigh." 

And before morning he fulfilled his threat, and only lefc the 
breast-bit, or "caisean-uchd," of each cow to indicate that they need 
not look for them again upon the hill. We may imagine the 
sorrow of the dairymaid, who neither had her "dubhag," nor her 
" donna g," nor her "ciarag," to milk in the morning. The 
affection in the hearts of those good women for the animals they 
reared and watched over was very intense, and such a sorrow as 
this dairymaid's would be within hail oi Rachel weeping for her 
children beeause they were not. The following is a beautiful 
milking song that has been much abused in the public prints, but 



The Shelling. 163 

I give it here as I got it from a good old dairymaid many years 

ago : 

Chorus 

" Ho hi ho leiginn, ho hi ho leiginn, 
Ho hi ho leiginn, m' aghan guail-fhionn, 
Ho hi ho leiginn, m' aghan gaolach, 
'Us mo chrodh-laoigh air gach taobh dhe'n bhuaile. 

Faic an dris ud air an lionaig, 

'S i a lubadh leis na smiaran, 

'S amhuill sid agun m' aghan ciad-laoigh, 

An t-agh is ciatach de chrodh na buaile. 

'S i mo runsa an t-aghan cais-fhionn, 
Cha 'n iarr i buarach a chur mu casan, 
'Nuair 'bhiodh each aims na siomain naisgte, 
'S e siod a' Sasunn bhiodh air mo ghuail-fhionn. 

M' fheudail fhein an t-aghan cais-fhionn, 
Theid do 'n bheinn is nach iarr i (Jhachaidh, 
Gudthrom bainne air a casan, 
Is laogh a h-altruim le gheum ga buaireadh. 

Dh' fhaithninn gris-fhionn a tighinn thar faire, 
Leis a mheanbh-bhric a tha mu braighe, 
Righ gur ro-mhath a thogail ail i, 
A suas thar chach 's i 'n ceannard buaile. 

M' fheudail ise a chrodh na tir so, 

Bheir i dhomhsa am bainne priseil, 

Gheibh mi caise is gheibh mi im dhi 

'S nam bidh i uam gum bu mhor ga'm dhi i." 

The romance of the shieling with its poetry was not confhxd 
to those of the fairy race. Sons of men often took great pains to 
see the maidens of the sheiling in spite of the guardianship of 
brothers or other male relatives who might be there, after the 
habit of the family migration to the hills had ceased. 

When a young man was objected to as the future husband of 
the maid of the sheiling he had to have recourse to stratagem in 
order to see her. A young man of whom we heard went to the 
sheiling in which his beloved was the presiding goddess, but he 
d tred not go in sight. He hovered about in hopes to get a word 
of the maiden, but in vain. At last rain came 011 and he was 
more than miserable, and he went and opened the cro' or fold in 
which the calves were shut in. The calves began to low, and the 
whole occupants of the sheiling got out of their beds to go in 



164 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

quest of them, when the lover slipt into his sweetheart's room. 
He threw off his wet plaid and hid himself in a corner. As the 
maiden went back to her apartment after the calves were secured 
she touched the wet plaid accidentally and screamed. In a moment, 
however, she was aware of the situation, and when her brothers 
asked the cause of her fright she said the cat had jumped in her 
face, and believing her, they retired unsuspiciously to bed.* That 
night she promised to elope with her lover, which she afterwards 
did, for she knew he was trustworthy and true, although her 
brothers disliked him. A young man less fortunate went forth 
one morning before daylight to the sheiling to see his sweetheart, 
and when he got there he found her dead. The following is a 
fragment of a song composed by him on the occasion : 

" 'Nuair a rainig mi bhuaile, 

Cha robh 'n sluagh mar bu choir dhoibh, 

Bha na mnathan a' fuaigheal, 

'S bha na gruagaichean bronach. 

Bha miadh air luchd-gul aim, 
'S cha robh guth air luchd-orain, 
'Nuair a rainig mi 'bhuaile, 
Gum b'fuar bha i dh6mhsa. 

Bha mo chraobhag chaol dhireach, 
Na sineadh 's an t-seomar, 
Na sineadh fodh'n uinneig, 
Far nach cluinneadh i comhradh. 

'Na righe air deile, 

As a leine fuar reota, 

'S truagh nach robh mi 's an fhiabhrus, 

Mu'n d'fhuair mi riamh t-eolas. 

Ann an ciste chaoil chumhain, 
Air a dubhadh le roiseid, 
Ann an ciste nan sliseag, 
Fodh shlios nan stuagh reota." 

When a death, as in this case, took place away at the sheiling, and 
the weather was too stormy to carry the body to the famiiy burying- 
ground, they chose a suitable spot on the hillside in which they 
solemnly buried their dead. We have heard of a man who was 
travelling over a mountain, and having got tired, he lay down on 
a little knoll to rest, and there fell asleep. As he slept he saw a 
pretty little girl of about eight years old dancing about the spot 

* 'Nuair sheallas bean air a cois thoisgeil gheibh i leisgeul. 



The Shelling. 165 

on which he reposed. " Who are you, my sweet child, and why 
are you here alone ?" " Ah !" she replied, " I died when they 
were here at the sheiling, and I am here alone. You are sleeping 
on my grave, and I am glad you came, for they left me all alone. 
Dh'fhag iad mise 'an so learn fhein." On going to the nearest 
township, the traveller found that a girl had died at the sheiling 
at that place on the previous summer, and that, owing to stormy 
weather, she had been buried there. And the description he gave 
of her quite agreed with the appearance of the little maiden they 
knew. Th ; s happened in one of the sheiling districts of Lochaber. 

Many places in the Highlands owe their names to this old 
habit of sending the cows to the sheiling. Achintore, near Fort- 
William, now studded with so many lovely villas, is nothing else, 
interpreted, but the field of the manure. The ancient family of the 
Macgillonies of Strone had Achintore as a summer grazing. They 
gathered heaps of manure there in the season twice a day. 
" Achadh-an-todhaire far an deanar da thodhar 's an latha" was the 
old proverb about it. The country people, short of manure for 
their ground, came there to buy it at so much a creel. Burt, in 
his letters from the north, speaks of the women in the neighbour- 
hood of Fort- William coming to buy the horse dung from the 
soldiers at 4d a creel. The creels used for carrying this manure 
had false bottoms, fixed with pins, and they could be emptied with- 
out being removed from the back of the man or horse that carried 
them. They were known as " cleibh-spidrich." 

In the same way they went with those creels to buy manure to 
Achintore. As late as the beginning of the present century the 
Macgillonies had their summer grazings in Achintore, for which 
they paid a rental of ,40 per annum. Many of the names of 
Highland places owe their origin to sheilings. The famous " Fionn- 
airidh" of Morven is the white sheiling ; " Gleann-deas-airidh" is 
the glen of the south sheiling ; " Airidh-fhionn-dail," the sheiling 
of the white field ; " Airidh-mhuilinn," the sheiling of the mill, and 
so on. 

The only place in the Highlands in which the " airidh" is still 
a summer resort is the Lews, and even there they seem modern 
institutions. The family do not leave the ordinary home. 
Only the girls go, and in that the others are losers. The 
change of air, the break in the monotony of life, especi- 
ally to the women, must have been a salutary change. 
The girls, however, enjoy their residence there, free from all 
restraint ; they can sing and dance to the music of their own 
innocent hearts without fear of either minister or elder. There 



166 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

are generally four girls in each shelling, and they occupy one 
large bed made on the floor, with a first layer of rushes, and then 
bent, hay, or straw. Between this bed "leabaidh mh6r na 
h-&iridh" and the fire there is built up a sofa or couch of turf 
called " an ceap," and that is their seat as they sew or knit in the 
evenings, after they have finished their duties. Wednesday night 
is their great evening, for then their sweethearts come to see 
them. One brings a Jew's harp, another a chanter, and they have 
a dance, and the girls sing the Gaelic songs that are too often for- 
bidden at home. Then they hospitably entertain the young men, 
who came to cheer them in their solitude, the usual feast 011 such 
occasions being curds and cream ; and when the lads go to Fraser- 
burgh, they bring: nice presents to the girls who were so kind 
little shoulder shawls of tartan, ribbons, combs, and pen-knives, or 
cheap brooches which are lovingly treasured. All the East 
Coast fishing is called Fraserburgh by them. If a stranger comes 
unexpectedly to these sheilings, and they have no luxury to offer, 
they hastily bake an oat-cake, which is put standing against a 
stone to be fired. The fire for this purpose is made of dried 
heather, which gives a clear, hot redness without smoke. This 
" bonnach-cloiche," taken to a bowl of fresh cream, is considered a 
great treat. The tit-bit given by the Lews people to their cows, 
in order to induce them to give their milk, is the dried bones of 
the cod and ling pounded down small. The cows are particularly 
fond of it, and yield their milk freely whilst enjoying it; and if 
they get a song with it, all the better. The great terror of the 
sheiling was the witch, or any one with an evil eye. The former 
could, with a sympathetic teat, sit at her own fire-side, and milk 
her neighbour's cows ; the latter could, with her " beum-sula," lay 
the most healthy and beautiful cow of the herd dead on the field 
in a moment. If the witch were vindictive only, and did not 
want any benefit herself, she would prevent the cows of her unfor- 
tunate victim from having calves, which was the most serious evil 
that could befall a pastoral people, to whom milk in its different 
forms meant a wealth of luxurious living. 

Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair, in his praise of the mainland, 
says : 

" 'S measrach, cuachach, leabach, luachrach, 
Dol gu buaile 's t-samhradh. 
Heitirin, &c. 

'S 6nach, uachdrach, blathach, cnuachdach 
L6n nam buachaill' annta. 
Heitirin, &c. 



The Shelling. 167 

'S imeach gruthach, meagach, sruthach 
An iomaraich shubhaoh shlambach. 
Heitirin, &c. 

Deoch gun tomhas dol mar comhair, 
Gun aon ghlomhar gainntir. 
Heitirin, &c.' 

Of course this land of Goshen would become a starved and miser- 
able place without the rich streams from the milky mothers, and 
the calves that were to rise up to take the place of their ancestors 
on the sheiling. Sometimes if one's cows were injured by a witch, 
another went privately and bought them with any smail silver 
coin. " You have no cows now," said the buyer, "they are all mine, 
and spells wrought to injure your cows cannot affect mine." 
" They are all yours, I have none," replied the owner. And then 
the witch, who knew not of the transaction, was baffled at the 
want of success in her spells. 

Sometimes butter and cheese and milk were sent to the witch 
to purchase her goodwill. And there w r as one spell that was 
performed at great risk, but which was effectual in making the 
witch come to terms. A young girl w r as sent to milk the strip- 
pings from the udder of the cow, and after every window was 
darkened and every inlet to the house shut up, the milk was 
poured into a pot with a portion of the cow's dung, a tuft of her 
hair, and as many rusty nails and needles and pins as possible. 
The pot was set on the fire, and stirred with a stick of mountain 
ash, and if that is not convenient any other stick will do, and the 
person who is brave enough to take charge of it keeps stirring all 
the while, repeating some charm. By and by the witches begin 
to make a great noise about the house, going to the windows and 
to the doors and even to the top of the house trying to get a 
sight of the person who is stirring the pot, for if they get that the 
victory w r ould be theirs. The person in charge of the pot could 
then make terms with the person who had injured the cow when 
he knew the pain undergone w r as beyond endurance ; or, if he or 
she was very revengeful the person could, by prolonged suffering, 
be brought to cry out asking for relief, and promising to take the 
spell away from the cow. Then the pot was lifted off, and as the 
water gradually cooled the witch got free from pain, and the cow 
yielded the old full rich quantity of milk.* These cantrips were 
the terror of the sheiling, and those who caught one of the water 

* A gentleman in Stornoway told me that he had used this charm with great 

efficacy. 



168 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

cows were considered happy, as no evil eye or witch's spell had 
any power to injure these creatures of the flood, which are seldom 
seen by mortal eye as they come in droves from the sea to career 
about in the dim moonlight. A man in Harris told me that his 
forefathers had such cows for many generations. One' of his 
ancestors had been out hunting on the hill side, and as he lay still 
he saw these creatures of the flood rushing past him. He had the 
presence of mind to know what they were and threw a handful of 
earth towards them. The one on whose back it fell stood spell- 
bound unable to follow the herd to the sea. He led her home, 
and she seemed quite content with her new mode of life. She and 
her progeny were all good milchers. I tried to get a description 
of these creatures, but could only learn that they were beautifully 
shaped and had long silky black hair. 

The following description of a Highland quey of the best 
stamp may be interesting : 

" Dh'aithn'inn an t-agh dubh no ruadh, 
Daite air suaicheantas a bhein, 
'S na'n leanadh a phris a' suas 
Chumainn fhein mu'n cuairt an ceum. 

Adharc fhada, ghorm, no dhearg, 
Cluas mhor 'us earball da reir, 
Speir mholach, leathan, gharbh, 
Bhiodh e searbh mar bi'maid reidh. 

E bhi leathan os a chionn ; 
Goirid o 'n da shuil a bheul ; 
Fionnadh dualach, tiugh, 's e dluth, 
Gun bhi fo na ghlun ach reis. 

Aisne leoghar, dhomhain, chrom, 
Trusadh na chom air an fheill ; 
Togail ann a suas gu bharr, 
Aigionnach na nadur fhein." 

The names given to the Highland cows were indicative of their 
colour or of any distinguishing mark such as a brow star, which 
made her " Blarag," the brown cow was " Donnag," the dusky 
grey one "Ciarag," the brindled one " Riabhag," and the dun one 
always the " Odhrag," the black and white one was the " Gris- 
fhionn," sometimes a quey of no distinctive colour got emphati- 
cally called " An t-aghan," and the name stuck to her unto old 
age. The children at the sheiling gave their playmates, the 



The Shef/ing. 



169 



calves, those names ; and they were the names by which they 
were sung in the lilts of the milk-maids as they praised them in 
sweetest song. If the words did not mean much, as sometimes 
happened, the melodies were always beautiful, and could be played 
on the bagpipes with fine effect. Of some of those milking lilts I 
could only get a verse, for instance, the following, which is very 
fine played on the pipes : 

" A mhnathan na buaile, 
Dh' ith sibh an t-im, 
Dh' 61 sibh an t-uachdar, 
Dh' ith sibh an t-im ; 
A mhnathan na buaile, 
Dh' ith sibh an t-im, 
Dh' ol sibh an t-uachdar, 
'S mise gu thin." 
Here is a verse of another sweet air : 

" Ged tha crodh chaich a stigh, 

Chan 'eil m' agh donn ami, 

Ged tha crodh chaich a stigh, 

Chan 'eil m' agh donn ann ; 

Dh' fhuireadh m' agh, dh' fhanadh m' agh, 

Dh' fhuireadh m' agh riumsa, 

Sheasadh m' agh boidheach breac, 

Air a chnoc leamsa." 

In all these songs the most affectionate expressions were used to 
the cows, as in the following : 

" M' aghan fhin thu, 
M' aghan fhin thu, 
M' aghan fhin thu, 
M' aghan donn ; 
Ged bhiodh na siomain, 
Air crodh na tire, 
Bidh buarach shiod 
Air an aghan donn. 

M' aghan gaoil thu, 
M' aghan gaoil thu, 
M' aghan gaoil thu, 
Air feadh nan torn ; 
M' aghan aoidheil 
Air feadh an fhraoich thu, 
'S gur mor mo ghaol 
Air an aghan donn. 



170 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

M' aghan cais-fhionn, 
M' aghan cais-fhionn, 
M' aghan cais-fhionn, 
A thogadh m' fhonn ; 
Tha 'm bainne frasadh, 
Bho h-ugh gu casan, 
'S i greiseadh dhachaidh, 
Gu laoighean donn. 

M' aghan f bin thu, 
M' aghan fhin thu, 
M' aghan fhin thu, 
M' aghan donn ; 
Ged 'bhios na siomain, 
Air crodh na tire, 
Bidh buarach shioda, 
Air m' aghan donn." 

The old life at the sheiling is a thing of the past. Yet, its traditions, 
and songs and proverbs that embalm its history, will live as long 
as our language is spoken or written, and the beautiful similes 
that tell of a pastoral people have become part of the mosaic that 
makes it so grand and worthy of preservation. Of a kind-hearted 
person it was said, " Tha e mar am bainne blath" " he is like the 
warm milk." The poet could find no better thing to describe the 
fairness of the skin of his lady-love than to say she was as white as 
the curd. " Cho gheal 's an gruth learn fhein thu." " Calf-love" 
was described, " Laoigh na h-aon airidh," the calves of the one 
sheiling. One going to marry a stranger away from their own people 
and glen was told in surprise, " Ubh, ubh, b' fhada bho cheile 
crodh laoigh ur da sheanar," " Ay, ay, far from each other were 
the milk cows of your two grandfathers," and so on. The boys 
brought up at the sheiling had a different stamina from the pre- 
sent generation who rejoice in being English-speaking and tea- 
drinking from their infancy The new state of things fits them best 
for taking their places with the Lowlanders in the battle of life, 
but yet they unfit them to be the representatives of the 
race that grew up to be like a mighty bulwark to their 
country those who from childhood climbed the highest rocks, 
and swam the deepest pools, and whose simple, temperate lives 
fitted them for hardships and endurance. 

The better life of the sheiling was over when the whole com- 
munity cased to move together with their flocks in the early 
summer. The poetry of the old life was gone, and then gradually 



The Shelling. 171 

the " buaile" took the place of the "airiclh," and the more modern 
Gaelic songs celebrate the maiden who was queen of this new order 
of things 

" 'chruinneag, e 'chruinneag, 
chruinneag na buaile, 
Gur tu cruinneag mo chridhe, 
Leat a ruidhinn am fuadach. 

Gur aim shuas aims a' Charnaich, 

Gleann ard nan sruth fuara, 

A tha chruiimeag is boidhche, 

'S a dh ? fhag fo leon gu Lath-luain mi. 

Tha thu cumadail, finealt 
Thu cho direach ri luachair, 
Bho chul do chinn gu do shailtean, 
Chan 'eil faillinn ri luaidh ort. 

Tha do chalpa mar bhradan, 
Air an aigeal a' cluaineis, 
'S do shlios mar an fhaoileann, 
'Snamh ri aodann an fhuaraidh. 

Tha do shuil mar an dearcag, 
Bhios fodh dhealt anns na bruachan, 
Do dha ghruaidh mar an caorann, 
Mala chaol 's i gun ghruaman. 

Tha do dheud mar a chailce, 
Dluth snaight na d' bheul stuama, 
'm binne thig oian, 
Ann an seomar a' fuaigheal. 

Bheirinn brad an bho 'n t-saile, 
Fiadh bho ard nam beann fuara, 
'S coileach dubh o na gheig dhuit, 
'S cha bhiodh eis air mo ghruagach. 

'S mi gun rachadh do 'n Fhraing, 
Le Nic-Raing a chuil dualaich, 
'S cha leiginn ort mighean, 
'S ceol fidhle na d' chluasan." 

I remember the heroine of this song, a tall, stately matron in 
Glencoe, when I was a mere girl, and I do not think that the poet 
exaggerates her charms. 



172 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

13th MARCH, 1889. 



At this meeting the Right Rev. Colin C. Grant, D.D., late 
Bishop of Aberdeen, read a paper before the Society, entitled 
" Highland-English as found in Books." Mr Grant's paper was as 
follows : 

HIGHLAND-ENGLISH AS FOUND IN BOOKS. 

Highlanders cannot make much complaint about the character 
given to their countrymen by writers of English. They are 
depicted as being brave to temerity, strong of endurance, fearless 
in danger, temperate in eating and drinking, hospitable, of strict 
honour, proud of their mountain land, true as steel to their chief 
and clan. On the other hand, they are described as taking 
unkindly to all sorts of manual labour, adhering unduly to ancient 
methods, slow to improve the homes, ttui fields, the roads of their 
fathers, unforgetful, if not unforgiving, of injuries, with some taste 
to bloodthirstiness ; proud, with a perceptible shade of sly cunning, 
regarding themselves as more than half the rightful owners of all 
the sheep, cattle, horses, and chattels of the Lowlander. This 
side of the picture, or that, or both, may be somewhat overdrawn, 
but in a broad sense we may look upon it as true, and allow it to 



When these same writers make the Highlander speak, he is no 
longer recognisable. We see in the description given evident 
marks of his character ; but his language is unknown. He acts 
like a hero, he speaks like a child. His bravery and prowess are 
his own, but his words are those of a stranger or those of a goose. 
I have long noticed this manner of treating the Highlander in 
English works. I have considered the subject of sufficient import- 
ance to draw the attention of your Society to it in my paper of 
this evening. You will kindly bear in mind that, to save the 
continual repetition of an adjective, I mean throughout by 
"Highlander" the unlettered of our countrymen, and what I state, 
though at times applicable to others of us, always refers to him. 

A writer, in dealing with men and their doings, may rightly 
set forth in his own words, as a plain narrative, not only what they 
did, but the bearing and gist of what he considered to have been 
their thoughts and their words. To take away from the heaviness 
and monotony of his narrative, to carry with him the attention of 



Highland-English as found in Boohs. 173 

iis readers better, and to make his writing life-like, he may also 
rightly give what was spoken in conversational form. In place 
)f giving the meaning of a conversation, he may introduce the 
jrsons about whom he writes as speaking for themselves. We 
ive, then, not the substance of a conversation, but the conversa- 
tion itself, either in the writer's or the speaker's own words. 
There are two ways in which this may be done, both quite allow- 
able and according to the canons of good taste on the subject, and, 
therefore, both correct and both constantly used by the best of 
our writers. One way is that you can make your characters 
ipeak correctly in the language in which you write. Thus, if I 
am writing in French, I give a conversation in correct French 
though it was spoken in English, even in bad English, by English- 
men. The other way is that you give the very words of the 
speaker. This latter way is by far the most difficult, but it is 
unquestionably by far the best. The former represents, the latter 
is the truth in the case. The reader is placed as nearly as possible, 
in the circumstances, in the position of those who heard the words 
spoken. There is only wanting the tone, accent, and manner of 
the speaker, which is the part of an actor, not of a book, to supply. 
If, however, a writer is not so skilled in the manner of speech 
of his characters as to be able to reproduce it exactly, he must of 
right confine himself to the first method. The only latitude 
permissible is to make use of such errors of language as are 
common to the country or class to which the speaker belongs. 
Any other deviation would be an imposition on the reader and a 
falsehood. I think I have made it clear, that in the one case we 
have substantially what was spoken and in conversational form ; 
in the other we have the very words spoken and none other. 
These laws hold good whether one is writing history, actual con- 
versations, or works of fiction. For fiction offends against good 
taste, the canon of art in writing, whenever any person speaks 
what and as one of the class, to which he is described to belong, 
could not and would not have spoken. In English works, then, 
where it is the case of a Highlander, these laws of correct writing 
are in very rare cases observed. When a Highlander opens his 
mouth he is no longer one of ours. 

What may be called the first and most apparent error is that 
when a Highlander speaks he is made to speak Broad Scotch. 
Now, my contention is that he speaks English, broken enough 
English it may be, but not Scotch, or rather broken Scotch. He 
bungles in his language no doubt, but he bungles in English, and 
not in Scotch. It may be stated as a fact that he does not know 



174 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Scotch, and, therefore, it is impossible for him to bungle or to use 
it. This is said not by any means in disparagement of Scotch, 
which is a rich and most expressive diilect, and which no one 
appreciates more than I do in its proper place. In making this 
statement of fact I do not include those who dabble in reading, 
nor those living in a certain depth of border line or country 
between Gaelic-speaking and Scotch-speaking populations. In 
such districts the inhabitants are so mixed that the Scotch is con- 
tinually heard by the Gaelic people, and they become nearly as 
familiar with it as with their o.vn tongue. 

I think, on giving the matter a little consideration, you will 
admit the truth of the case, as above stated. If anyone, bearing 
this in mind, pass through the streets of Inverness, keeping an 
open ear to such snatches of conversation as he may be able to 
hear, he will be surprised at the little Scotch spoken. The mem- 
bers of the Gaelic Society of Inverness include natives of many 
parts of the Highlands. What is your experience on the point ? 
Might I not appeal with confidence to you ? 1 myself have spent 
the greater portion of my life among the Gael, and, as far as it 
goes, my experience is that they do not and cannot speak Scotch. 
When they do not speak Gaelic it is English tfoy attempt ; how 
successfully or unsuccessfully is another question. You will find 
it so in Strathglass. It' you journey by the " Great Glen," and 
diverge, when your purpose requires, to the left and to the right, 
Stratherrick, Glen-Urquhart, Glenmorriston, and Glengarry will 
offer the same evidence. Extend your journey to Lochaber, even 
to Oban. Explore thence Argyll southwards, Ardnamurchan and 
Mull northwards. Search all the " rough Bounds." Spread your 
sails to the breeze, and land where you list in Skye ; pass the 
Minch, and circumnavigate the outer isles. Return by Apple- 
cros-s Loohalsh, and Kintail, or further north examine Gareloch, 
Lochbroom, and Assynt. I confidently maintain that in all these 
wide districts the efforts of the natives at English is never mur- 
dered " broad " Scotch. You would indeed produce a curiosity if 
you produced a Gael from Barra, from Uist, from Kintail, or 
Lochbroom from whose lips flowed the " broad " Scotch. I believe 
the sources of our countrymen's knowledge of any tongue but their 
own were the schools amongst them, the occasional English ser- 
mons they heard, their intercourse with their clergy and with 
their proprietor and his friends, the occasional books they read, and 
especially the Bible. These sources were all English, and what 
instruction they drank in from them was English instruction. 
How could it be otherwise 1 They could not, if this be the true 



Highland-English as found in Boohs. 175 

state of the case, produce the Scottish Doric out of the little 
smattering of English they had been taught. 

Had I the opportunity of examining the subject more closely 
I might have been able, but, as it is, I am unable to state who 
was the first writer that fell into the mistake of making High- 
landers speak Scotch. It was Sir Walter Scott at all events, who, 
by his Waverley Novels, spread the error over all the world. The 
witchery of his tales and of his style made his works favourites 
everywhere, and all his readers learnt how his Highlandmen 
spoke, how they floundered in speaking, and floundered in 
broadest Scotch. In the sixteenth chapter of Waverley we come 
across one of the first sentences he puts into a Highlander's 
mouth. Here it is : " Ta cove was tree, four mile ; but, as 
Duinhe-wassel was a wee taiglit, Donald could, tat is, might 
would should send ta curragh." Do you perceive any sign of 
Gaelic origin in these words except Duinhe-wassel and curragh ? 
One would be inclined to look upon them rather as the effort of a 
Scotch urchin fresh from a grammar lesson in school. Could, 
might, would, should have no trace of Highland features. Then 
there is this puzzle of a word "taiglit." I must confess my ignor- 
ance. I never heard this word iioed, and, except in these novels, 
I never saw it. If it were not for the context I could not guess its 
meaning. How many here present are acquainted with it ? It is 
safe to say that there is not a native in all the Highland districts 
above mentioned who would understand this "taiglit." Callum 
Beag speaks : "Ta Duinhe-wassel might please himself; ta auld 
rudas loon had never done Oallum nae ill. But here's a bit line 
frae ta Tighearna, tat he bad me gie your honour ere I came 
back." These incessant tas don't strike me as Highland. But 
what is to be said of " ta auld rudas loon ?" Do you consider that 
a known expression among our countrymen ? It is certain that 
" Tighearna " is never used in this fashion by itself to signify a 
clan chief, but very solemnly for a high and reverent purpose. 
Evan Maccombich is a Highlander of a better sort. Judge his 
language for yourselves. I shall make no comment. " That grey 
auld stoor carle, the Baron o' Bradwardine, J s coming down the 
close wi' that droghling coghling bailie body they ca' Macwhupple, 
just like the Laird o' Kittlegab's French cook, wi' his turnspit doggie 
trindling ahint him, and I am as hungry as a gled, my bonnie 
dow " (Waverley, chapter xlii). I shall only give you one passage 
or two from " Rob Roy," and then proceed with what further I 
have to say. The fracas is just over at the Clachan of Aberfoil. 
" And fa's to pay my new ponnie plaid," said the larger High- 



176 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

lander, " wi' a hole burnt in't ane might put a kail-pat through? 
Saw ever onybody a decent gentleman fight wi' a firebrand before." 
Now I object to kail by itself or in composition, and I object to 
pat whether with or without kail. This altogether smells of the 
Lowlands. Highlanders were not gardeners. Vegetables were 
not plentiful among them. They had besides a sort of contempt 
for kail and for eaters thereof. I still remember some words of a 
song of my country, wherein the singer makes great complaint of 
his inhospitable usage 

" Cal fuar, 's aran eorna, 

Se sin bu bhiadh mhaidne dhomh." 

(Cold kail, and barley bread, 'twas this the morning meal given 
me). A pot of kail is an out-and-out Lowland dish. Such an 
image as a kail-pat surely never entered a Highland head. 
Besides, no Highlander could possibly turn pot into pat, for the 
Gaelic word for it is poit, and the o sounds so much more potently 
in poit than in pot that the change to pat would be insufferable to 
our ears. Rob Roy is made by Sir Walter Scott a sort of cosmo- 
politan gentleman. Yet I could never credit the real Rob with 
such a speech as this : " Ye wad hae tried, cousin, that I wot 
weel ; but I doubt ye wad hae come aff wi' the short measure, for 
we gang-there-out Hieland bodies are an unchancy generation 
when you speak to us o' bondage. We downa bide the coercion 
of gude braid-claith about our hinderlans, let a be breeks o' free- 
stone and garters o' iron." 

Sir Walter was such a wizard of the pen that he held the read- 
ing world in a spell. He was such a master in delineating the 
Scottish character, so inimitable in his conversations in the Scot- 
tish dialect, in a word, such a chief handicraftsman of all that 
embellished works of fiction, and rendered them interesting, that 
all succeeding writers followed, or endeavoured to follow, at what- 
ever distance, in his footsteps. I, therefore, quote from his writ- 
ings because they are best known, and he was the guiding star of 
the others, He made Scotch the English of Highlanders, and his 
successors were led by him. The freshness of the air, the smell of 
the salt water, and of the weeds by the shore, proclaim in the 
darkest night, and even to the blind, the neighbourhood of the sea, 
but this ill-treated Scotch smacks nothing of the Celtic tongue, 
and proclaims no lingual kinship to the men of the mountain. 

THE USE OF "SHE." 

The second error to which I would draw your attention is the 
use attributed to the Highlander of the pronoun she. It cannot 
be denied that this pronoun is used by many of them with 



Highland-English as found in Books. Ill 

frequency, and in a manner sufficiently startling, if not ludicrous, 
to the English ear. Of what then do I complain ? I complain, 
and I assert, that though this pronoun be frequently mis-used, it 
is not mis-used so frequently and it is not mis-used after the 
fashion we find set down by English writers. They seem utterly 
ignorant of the cause of the error, and thus they continually 
blunder the blunder. You understand as well as I do whence the 
error flows. Of course, you know that the mistake does not spring 
from the great gallantry and gentlemanly bearing of the High- 
lander to the fair sex. The source of it is not far to seek. In 
Gaelic there are but two genders masculine and feminine. Every- 
thing in that language is either he or she, and there is no it. So, 
passing through the dictionary from beginning to end, you have 
as many hes and *hcs as there are nouns in it. It is natural, 
therefore, to one who has but a smattering of English, to say he or 
she to things neuter. It requires time and a process of education 
to drive the " use and wont " of the foreign tongue into one's head, 
and there will be of necessity many unconscious outbursts of the 
older usage. Which of you is ignorant that in the great ancient 
languages, Latin and Greek, though both possess a neuter gender, 
multitudes of nouns, neuter in English, are masculine or feminine 
in them ? A Latin or a Greek would think quite correct the error 
of the Gael in his use of she, which so upsets an Englishman. 

What is this use ? It is simply the employment, when speak- 
ing English, of the pronoun he would have employed if speaking 
Gaelic. He blunders as frequently in the use of the masculine as 
of the feminine pronoun, though our writers have not been 
sufficiently observant to notice this. They knew nothing of any 
system in the matter, and the masculine pronoun did not tickle 
their ears as the feminine did. With them the Highlander is 
made to call everything she. There was no method in the 
madness of these writers. The Highlander, on the other hand, 
erred, but erred according to rule. If old Horace or Virgil were to 
start up in the midst of us, who would wonder if they said " She 
is a good pen ?" They would necessarily have to undergo a 
considerable drilling in a public school before the new law of 
gender got properly fixed in their heads. The Highlander, in this 
case, if a feather was meant, would say she, but if a pen, he. We 
would again require to have recourse to the dictionary and count 
the nouns before we could exactly tell what pronoun a Gael would 
use most frequently. The English language itself fails not to give 
examples of this nature. The sun is often called he, the moon xhe. 
Everyone can recall other words that are used in this way. But 

12 



178 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

when writers, who are unacquainted with the usage of the language 
of the people and ignorant of the reason thereof, make this 
blunder of theirs pervade all likely and unlikely places, it comes to 
be very tiresome and pitiful. It is a clamant example of the 
mischief of running counter to Pliny's caution : 

"Ne sutor ultra crepidam." 

As to them, there is no why or wherefore on the point ; they run 
riot in most outrageous fashion. The poor Gael is credited with 
but this one pronoun. All others are Hebrew to him. It, indeed, 
is a masterful, not to say tyrannical, pronoun. /. thou, and he, 
me, mine, thee, thine, him, and his, it sweeps unmercifully out of 
its path. These scribes permit not the limited vocabulary of the 
Gael to embrace such superfluities. Books make one universal 
she meet the eye of the reader everywhere. 

The matter is even worse than this. Our countryman is even 
made to call himself she, and to call his male friend she. A 
woman, as far as I can remember, is never made to call herself she, 
but her brother, not on a rare occasion, not as a particularly 
ignorant specimen of the genus Hielanman, but as a rule, 
metamorphosises himself and always becomes she. Rob Roy 
speaks to Dougal " Fear nothing, Dougal, your hands shall never 
draw a bolt on me." 

" Tat sail they no," said Dougal, " she suld she wad that is, 
she wishes them hacked off by the elbows first. But when are ye 
gaun yonder again? and ye'll no' forget to let her ken. She's 
your puir COM sin, God kens, only seven times removed." 

" I will let you ken, Dougall, as soon as my plans are settled." 

" And by her sooth when you do, an' it were twal o' the Sunday 
at e'en, she'll fling her keys at the Provost's head or she gie them 
another turn." (" Rob Roy," chap, xxii.) 

The following is the language of a Highland gentleman after 
the fight with the red-hot culter at Aberfoii " She had better 

speak nae mair aboot her culter, or, by , her will gar her eat 

her words, and twa handfuls o' cauld steel to drive them ower wi'!" 

Our friend Dougal brings Francis Osbaldistone and Rob Roy 
into a cell in Glasgow jail, wherein there was a bed. As he placed 
the lamp he bore on a little deal table, " she's sleeping," said he. 

'"She! Who? Can it be Diana Vernon in this abode of 
misery ? ' I (Osbaldistone) turned my eye to the bed, and it was 
with a mixture of disappointment oddly mingled with pleasure 
that I saw my first suspicion had deceived me. I saw a head 
neither young nor beautiful garnished with a grey beard of two 



Highland-English as found in Boohs. 179 

days' growth, and accommodated with a red nightcap." (Chap, 
xxii.) 

Callum Beag says to Waverley " Ta Tighearnach did not like 
ta Sassenach Duinhe-wassel to be pingled \vi' mickle speaking, 
as she was na' tat weel." (Chap, xxiv.) 

These quotations might be multiplied to any extent. I have 
lived in the Highlands nearly all my life, and I cannot recall ever 
having heard this outrageous mistake made. I have, however, 
made enquiries of others, and have met some who maintain that 
they have noticed some cases of men who call themselves she. 
But granting it be so, how can some rare cases justify the continual 
usage of English writers ? These even aggravate the matter by 
making a Gael call himself, as a matter of course, "her nainsell." 
" Her ain sell," replied Callum, " could wait for him a wee bit frae 
the toun, and kittle his quarters wi' her skene-occle." A sleeping 
Highlander starts up from the floor and joins in the fray at 
Aberfoil, exclaiming " Her nainsell has eaten the town pread at 
the Cross o' Glasgow, and by her troth she'll fight for Bailie 
Sharvie at the Clachan of Aberfoil." I doubt if one Highlander in 
a hundred would know what " her nainsell " meant. But " her 
nainsell " is the commonest of designations they give themselves 
in books. 

It must strike one, after all this, as something very singular 
that the noun in Gaelic to designate a woman, boirionnach, is 
masculine, so that it would appear that the Gael would have some 
justification for calling a woman he, while he has none for calling 
himself she. If such words are monstrosities, Gaelic cannot boast 
a monopoly of them. In Latin the word for person, persona, is 
feminine. Everyone is powerless to help himself. No exception 
can be tolerated. If you are a persona, you must as such be 
lingually feminine. As to the above Gaelic word, and as to every- 
thing, hasty conclusions are to be deprecated. For the conclusion 
obviously does not follow that the gender of the word boirionnach 
arises from the fact that, though the Highlander wears a kilt, 
which some people call petticoats, his wife always arrays herself, 
as some English-speaking wives are known to do, in the equivalent 
Lowland habiliments ! 

We progress from wonder to wonder. It would be 
a safe undertaking to engage to prove that Highlanders, not rarely 
and even without having partaken liberally of mountain dew, call 
a mountain the man, and a hill the woman ; a door the man, and a 
window the woman ; a horse the man, and a cow the woman. One 
who knows only English has not the genius or the scholarly 



180 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

instruction that would fit him to understand the beauty of this 
nomenclature. English, in many cases, shows no gender. Its 
adjectives proceed unmoved on their uninteresting, monotonous 
path. They have something of the cold, unemotional, supercilious 
nature of the nation in them. The Gaelic adjective, a lively and 
bright being, changes at its beginning or at its end, or at both,, 
gets knocked about head and heel. Like its sisters of most other 
languages, it has to wriggle through strange mutations in the 
course of its uneven life, according to the disposition and circum- 
stances of its yoke-fellow the noun. When in English this or that 
is used, this one or that one, they show no gender. How happy 
and how handy for purposes of gender is the Latin hie, koec, hoc ; 
ille, ilia, illud ; iste, ista, istud. What shall we say of the Gaelic ? 
When distinguishing it bears the palm. It says, am fear so, this man ; 
an te so, this woman. Then, to prove our case, when distinguish- 
ing one mountain, one door, one horse, from another, or from 
several others, we say am ftar sin, that man ; and when 
distinguishing between hill and hill, window and window, cow and 
cow, we say an, te sin, that woman. The very same words am fear 
ruadh, used to denote a red-haired man, are used for a red horse or 
any red male animal or thing ; and an te ruadh means a woman or 
any female animal or thing that is ruadh red. And, in place of 
red, any other applicable adjective may be correctly employed in 
the foregoing fashion. These, then, are true Celtic equivalents for 
the demonstrative adjective and not a whit odd to Gaelic ears. 
There is a sufficient reason for this, dating back to the Creation. 
Man was placed over all creatures, and why should not all 
creatures be called after him? "My conscience," Bailie Nicol 
Jarvie says, " every man maun do as he dow." When he had not 
his sword, Samson used the jaw-bone of an ass with exceeding 
effect, as the skulls of the Philistines amply testified. The worthy 
Gael finds his unpromising demonstrative adjective quite ready 
and effectual for its purpose. 

A story that may look exceedingly well to the uninitiated falls 
to the ground at the first glance of those who know better. Even 
on historic occasions grand deeds and words have been handed 
down, which have no sort of likelihood of truth in them. One 
story, glowingly told in print, and strikingly depicted by the 
artist, about the " Relief of Lucknow," was, when first told, seen 
to be absurd on the face of it by a Highland gentleman, who was- 
an officer, and also a piper. The story goes that the Highland 
wife of a soldier, when things had come to the utmost straits, gave 
the first intimation of coming relief by catching the sound of the. 



Highland-English as found in Boohs. 181 

pipes, knowing the very tune they played. My friend upset the 
touching tale with one word : " That is not a pipe tune," said he. 
I may add that there are now many versions of the story, and 
differences about the name of the tune. An instance in case is 
the stirring words said to be used by the Duke of Wellington at 
Waterloo " Up, guards, and at them !" which seem more fitted 
for the boards of a theatre than to direct far bodies of soldiers 
drawn out in line at a crisis of the battle. Tested in this manner, 
and applicable to what I have said above, the words put into the 
mouth of a Highlander in the '45 may amuse the ignorant, but 
cannot pass muster with the native, Edinburgh, then, was so 
quietly and so cleverly captured, that many of the dwellers therein 
were not aware that they had changed masters. A citizen had 
seen the town guard in possession of a gate, and, a few r minutes 
thereafter in passing, he found a body of Highlanders mounting 
guard. He walked up to them to seek an explanation, asking 
what had become of the town guard ? A Gael quietly tola him 
" She pe relieved." I must say I do not believe in that she. This 
tortured pronoun must be thus thrust into our faces on all occa- 
sions. It no doubt deserves to be tortured, for it has wantonly 
done away with every other one ! An insensate writer, 
excuse my warmth under such provocation, produces a great book, 
.and calls it " She," and the whole foolish world reads and dotes 
over this " She." 

The third error, which I wish to bring to your notice, is per- 
haps the worst of all. Most English writers have no knowledge 
of th^ genius of the Celtic language, and are therefore totally 
incapable of representing how a Celt would express himself on a 
given subject and occasion. When they portray the Highlander 
they portray a gentleman in manners. When they put a sword 
into his hands they arm a herv,. But when they put wor Js into 
his mouth they show us but a baby or a fool. How can writers 
represent what they themselves do not know? They should never 
have made the attempt. B is frequently altered to /?, d to t, v to 
/, th to s. Thus because becomes pecause } good becomes goot, very 
becomes ./ery, and three becomes sree. Xow, if writers who have 
learned th's much would limit themselves to these faults no one 
would complain. But when they have not learned how a High- 
lander would express himself they fall back upon their own ima- 
gination. This is not an allowable method, for it offends against 
the truth. In a narrative the spoken words of the persons intro- 
duced are given to enliven the narrative. A good writer exerts 
himself to make his characters express themselves in the manner 



182 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

that best fits their station, place, and country. The writer shows 
his own talent by making this spoken language to the point, 
natural, clever, witty, and surpassing what is generally heard 
amongst men of the class. In place of this it appears to me that 
the whole talent displayed by these writers, if it can be called 
talent, is wasted in trying to make as much a muddle 
as possible of the words of the Highlander. It seems 
a too extravagant effort to make him speak as he natu- 
rally would speak. Naturally he would try to translate 
into English the words he would use if he Trere speaking Gaelic. 
We would then always find some touch of the Gaelic idiom. Some 
old-world taste of his ancient tongue would season his discourse. 
A vein of plaintive, poetic feeling would run through it. His 
narrow, winding valleys, his rugged mountains and rushing waters 
have touched up his character with a strain of melancholy and of 
pathos. The Highland tongue bears impress of these Highland 
feelings, and continually manifests them in conversation. The 
Gael does not want wit. Where is the glen or hamlet in which we 
do not find men and women famed for their witty and sharp 
sayings 1 This gift of wit is frequently noticed to descend, like 
other family characteristics, from father to son and grandson. The 
houses where such people dwell are, of a winter evening, the well- 
known rendezvous of the youth of the village. The witty repartee 
and the humorous saying fall fast and spontaneously from the lips 
of many a mountaineer, bright and sparkling like golden coin from 
the mint. In books the same man is made as dull as ditch-water. 
How few Highland sayings of the writers I allude to are worth 
remembering 1 I scarcely know one. 

" Tell me where is fancy bred, or in the heart or in the head V 
sings Shakespeare Either the Highlander wants both heart and 
head, or they are barren soil where fancy can never nourish. 
Other people are allowed wondrous nights of imagination to regions 
rich and rare, but if a poor Highlander flaps a wing it is in the 
mire. The furthest flight is to a clan feud, to have his dagger at 
his enemy's throat, or to spoil the Sassanach. Listen to Evan 
Maccombich : 

" No ; he that steals a cow from a poor widow, or a stirk from a 
cottar, is a thief; he that lifts a drove from a Sassenach laird is a 
gentleman-drover. And, besides, to take a tree from the forest, a 
salmon from the river, a deer from the hill, or a cow from a Low- 
land strath, is what no Highlander need ever think shame upon." 
(Waverley, chap, xviii). 



Highland-English as found in Boohs. 183 

The Gaelic possesses an infinite variety of rich saws and 
proverbs. As you savour food with salt, the Gael incessantly 
seasons his conversation with new applications of these 
old words of wisdom, and this with a drollery, a wit, and a grace 
all his own. Nothing of this kind finds its way from the mouths 
of the noodles given us for Gaels by English writers. I read two 
comparatively recent works with a view to this paper: "A 
Princess of Thule " and " Chronicles of Stratheden." The writers 
of these books knew our country and countrymen much better 
than their brethren of the pen, and they do not fall into the 
ridiculous fault of making us all speak Broad Scotch .and similar 
monstrosities. But even they seem never to have heard of such a 
thing as Highland wit. The conversations they give are level and 
flat like the moors and moss-pools of the sorrowful* Lewis. I was 
barely able to cull one saying from the " Chronicles of Stratheden" 
worth bringing to your notice. It, wonderful to say, happily hits 
on a Gaelic idiom. The argument is too deliciuusly illogical, but 
all the same very true to nature. An old man says: ' Och, 
munnistars shouldna be making people laugh ; it's no for laughing 
they're in't. Look at the soalam face Messtur Neeculson hes ; 
try, wull he be laughing." That is too good not to be true. 
" It's no for laughing they're in't" cannot be surpassed. He might 
have said as conclusively, " It's no for sleeping they're in't ;" 
therefore poor " munnistars " should never take a wink. 

The utterly inane style of Highland speech is to be found in 
the columns of some newspapers in what are reckoned amusing 
paragraphs, particularly in comic papers. Therein Donald is 
trotted out for the public amusement in what is thought to be a 
supremely witty manner. I fail to see the wit. Not the tatter 
of a kilt or tartan can be recognised, nor the faintest smell of the 
fragrant birch or blooming heather. It is a mass of nonsensical 
gibberish, fit for the feeble mind of the idle or for the waste-basket, 
that we are treated to. If fancy flaps a wing, it is that of the 
barn-yard cock on the dung- hill, and not that of the grouse on the 
brow of the mountain. It is difficult to account fur the base taste 
which relishes this impossible display of Donald, nevertheless the 
amount of this kind of literature is unquestionably extensive, as 
any person who chooses to examine may easily find. In dread of 
any blemish to the glory of the tartan we speedily pass it by. 

Every language has peculiarities of its own. Some are guttural, 
some labial, some nasal ; one soft, another hard ; some long- 
worded, some short. Chinese seems to be all words of one syllable. 
Men attribute one quality or perfection to this language, another 



184 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

to that, and so on. The well-known saying of the great Emperor 
Charles V. comes apropos here ; he said he would speak German to 
his horses, English to birds and serpents, French to his friends, 
Italian to ladies, but Spanish he would speak in his prayers to 
God. Unfortunate man ! he did not know Gaelic ! 

To become acquainted with the characteristics of a language, 
one must learn that language. This signifies not the work of an 
hour, but a long period of serious application. Men who write 
books, and so aim at being the instructors of others, have to 
submit to this apprenticeship. There cannot be two opinions on 
the subject, they mast be the instructed before they can be 
qualified to be the instructors. Only when a student finds that 
he can think in a foreign language, only then can he congratulate 
himself that he begins to master it. Make your own experiments 
as to this. Try to think in a foreign tongue, and you will observe 
very quickly how much or how little you know of it. The High- 
lander has to flo all his thinking in Gaelic. This is his first 
process. The second process is that he has to substitute English 
words for the Gaelic. His knowledge of English is defective and 
limited, and he only bungles through it somehow. He has to 
change his gold coin into silver, and what with crowns and half- 
crowns, florins and shillings, not taking into account all smaller 
fry, one like him who does not often handle money may be easily 
bamboozled, and fare badly in the exchange. In the second 
proc ss, the exceeding difference of form and idiom between the 
two languages makes all the difficulty. It also accounts for the 
nature of the mistakes made, at least in the majority of cases. If 
yon were to have charge of a school for a week in a Gaelic district, 
and there observe the English compositions of the pupils, 
I believe you would see more of true Highland-English than in 
all the books ever written. A mistake then would be the 
genuine article, and none of your counterfeit " Brummagem" ware. 
It would no longer be the ass covered with the skin of the lion 
you heard braying, but the lion himself giving voice in a kingly 
roar. The truly artistic and competent writer must, therefore, be 
able to think in Celtic before he can hope to render his thoughts 
into English as a Celt would, and before he can approach to veri- 
similitude in his efforts to amuse us by his rendering of Celtic 
mistakes. This preparatory, yet most necessary, labour is pre- 
cisely what the writers I speak of have never thought of under- 
taking. The passages I have quoted must h^ve made this clearly 
evident to you. To write of things Celtic without being a Celtic 
scholar even without being a Celtic student manifests a lite- 






Highland-English as found in Boohs. 185 

foolhardiness which deserves severe condemnation. As I 
already explained, my quotations have been from Walter Scott, 
not that he is the ^teatest sinner, but because his books are in 
every hand. I shall task your patience with only other two 
citations : 

"Ah!" said Evan to Waverley, "if yon Saxon Duinhe-wassel 
saw but the Chief with his f ail on !" "With his tail on ?" echoed 
Edward in some surprise. Evan explains at great length that the 
tail meant the Chief's personal attendants. A few pages after we 
have 'Though, " said Dugald Mahony, "tat's ta Chief." 

" It is not," said Evan imperiously. Do you think he would 
come to meet a Sassenach Duinhe-wassel in such a way as that?" 

But, as they approached a little nearer, he said, with an 
appearance of mortification " And it is even he, sure enough ; and 
he has not his tail on after all ; there is no living creature w r ith 
him but Callum Beag " (Waverley, chap, xviii.). 

In this quotation the word " tail " is given, and, because it 
looks ridiculous, is repeated, as the English synonym of the Gaelic 
word for the retinue of a chief. There is no term in Gaelic with 
any such signification as " tail " to denote the attendants of a 
chief. The laugh, instead of being against the Gael, should be 
against the delinquent writer. 

This fitly introduces a new point. It is not enough in writing 
about a people to know their language. One must also know 
themselves, their houses, habits, and country, even their local and 
national history. Familiarity with all these things brings one to 
the very sources of their ideas. What they esteem, what they 
despise, what they love, what they hate, what is great, what is 
mean, what is praiseworthy, what is disgraceful, all has to be 
learnt. The family must be seen seated round the family hearth. 
The family must be seen at work in the field, or on the hill. The 
week-days have their teachings, and so has the Sunday. There are 
-days of gladness and days of mourning. Each occasion furnishes 
fresh illustrations of the Highland character. And Donald will be 
found not without shrewdness and rich gleams of humour, far other 
by a long way than the dry wizened stick he is depicted. The west 
coat and the islands have different sources of ideas from inland 
districts. Boats, sails, oars, nets, fishing, storms, billows thun- 
dering over the rocks the winds shrieking through the cordage 
and tattered sails men striving for life and death on the great sea, 
open up an infinite source of thoughts, joyful or sad as the case 
may be. In the inland districts scanty or plentiful crops, cattle 
and sheep, rivers and lakes, floods and drought, frost and snow, 



186 Gaelic Society of /nuerness. 

woods and mountains, a shot at a stag or a cast for a salmon, and 
all the variety of incidents of a landward district life, happy or 
perilous, profitable or unprofitable, exercise the minds, and vary 
the occupations of the inhabitants. These and such like things 
form the world of the Highlander, mental and material. Is it 
unreasonable tD say that he who wishes to write about him should 
learn the things of his world ? Walter Scott had all this knowledge 
of the Scottish people in its widest extent. He had lived amongst 
them and seen them at home and at work, at kirk and at mark ^t. 
He was as one of themselves. What can excel his Scotch conver 
sations 1 ? He can praise, he can blame; scold like a fish -wife, 
swear like a trooper ; he can fawn, he can natter, he can wheedle ; 
he can joke, he can back-bite, he can beg, he can mock ; he can 
rage and whine, and prose, and rant to the utmost. Nothing 
escapes him. He blunders nothing, and he embellishes all. He 
revels in the might of his power. No other country has had such 
a wizard of the pen least of all the Highlands to bewitch vis 
with the charms of the Avords and wit of their people. 

My argument can be still further enforced. What is it that 
is done by writers on like occasions'? Books are as numerous 
nearly as the leaves of the forest. If examples there are, they can 
easily be found. What writer would be so bold or so ignorant as 
to make a Cockney speak the dialect of Yorkshire 1 Whoever heard 
of a writer making a Northumbrian speak the dialect of Lanca- 
shire 1 What incredible fatuity any writer would manifest should 
he make the talk of any of these shires like to the broken brogue 
of an Irishman. Men are chary of their reputation. No one 
would dare to be guilty of -uch blunders as I mention. Kvery 
paper in the country would be full of the absurdity. Every critic 
would snatch the goose-quill from the back of his itching ear, and 
fill it with ink of the bitterest black, to write in abuse of the 
unfortunate author. Surely we Highlanders are the most patient 
of men, the least alert of critics, or the most careless and callous 
as to the treatment of our countrymen, when such blunders about 
them, and them alone, pass scatheless. Thousands of readers 
questionless by far the majority of readers could not in the least 
distinguish between Northumbrian and Yorkshire and Lancashire, 
and any medley of a mixture, however gross and unpalatable, 
might never cause a wry mouth. But, though this be so, there 
are behind the multitude so many who do know, that no writer, 
with safety to himself, can blunder in these dialects. Here they 
study and learn ; with us such trouble is not to be expected. The 
Jew, the Turk, the Spaniard, the Frenchman, every one is treated 



Highland-English as found in Boohs. 187 

with more consideration than we are. From the days of Shake- 
speare until our own, there is a difference between the blunders 
which each of these peoples falls into in speaking English. The 
nature of the mistake is, as I have argued in regard to the Gaelic, 
caused by the difference of idiom between their language and 
English. No writer can be produced who makes any confusion on 
this score. The Italian is never credited with the sort of blunder 
a Frenchman would make ; nor is the Spaniard ev^er credited with 
the sort of mess a German would produce. We can find men to 
man the lifeboat in the fiercest storm, and men to dare everything 
in search of the hopeless North Pole to climb the most dangerous 
Alps ; we can find men to lead the most forlorn hope : but to find 
a man who cares so little for his literary reputation as to write 
such a stupid blunder, I think impossible. 

A book brings us into close contact with the mind with the 
inmost soul of a person when it gives us his words ; for what are 
his words but the outward expression of what inwardly animates 
his heart. When we have laid before us many conversations of a 
vast variety of individuals belonging to a people or nation, 
individuals taken from every rank and profession, we have exposed 
to our study the soul of that nation. Their weakness and 
strength, their views, principles, and aims are thus subjected for 
admiration or condemnation to the judgment of the reading 
world. The people of a country have, therefore, a pressing interest 
or rather a duty imposed upon them to see that writers fail not to 
give a faithful delineation of their character. They ought to be 
watchful and ready to commend and uphold the truth, to condemn 
and expose the false in this important matter. For each portraiture 
of themselves they allow to go forth unquestioned, helps to fix the 
position, high or low, which they are to occupy in the estimation 
of mankind. 

I hope, then, I have not erred in my expectations, when I 
thought of this for the subject of my paper to the influential body 
which forms the Gaelic Society of Inverness. These expectations 
are that your greater attention be drawn to the study of this, 
question, that your watchfulness may be excited, your position of 
influence exercised, that your voices may be raised, and that your 
able pens be used in newspaper, magazine, periodical, or wherever 
they may, to condemn strongly the errors I have dwelt upon, and 
every error in the treatment of the language of the Highlander. 

I shall end with one further quotation. Evan Maccombich 
expresses true Highland sentiments I cannot say so much for hi& 
words at the trial at Carlisle. Great changes have occurred and 



188 Gaelic Society of Inverness, 

are now occurring, whether for good or for evil is a question, as 
regards the feelings between chiefs and clans, and Evan's feelings 
may not now animate every bosom. Be that as it may, Evan at 
Carlisle made the proposal that, should they allow the chief 
Fergus Mac Ivor to go free, he, by their permission, would go and 
bring six of the best men of the clan to suffer in his stead. When 
the proposal was greeted with a laugh, this is the noble answer 
Evan made "If the Saxon gentlemen are laughing because a 
poor man such as me thinks my life or the life of six of my degree 
is worth that of Vich Ian Vohr, it's like enough they may be very 
right ; but if they laugh because they think I would not keep my 
word, and come back to redeem him, I can tell them they ken 
neither the heart of a Hielandrnan, nor the honour of a gentle- 
man." 

Those writers, whose case we have been considering, ken 
neither the language nor the ideas of the Highlander. 



20th MARCH, 1889. 

At this meeting Mr Alexander Macbain, M.A., read the 
following paper, contributed by Mr D. Munro Fraser, H.M. 
Inspector of Schools, Glasgow : 

CERTAIN PECULIARITIES OF GAELIC IDIOM. 

The increased attention given to the study of the Celtic 
languages, in connection with the advancement of the Science of 
Language, has operated mainly towards the production of results 
that are interesting to those who pursue that science for its own 
sake. A great deal of light has been thrown on obscurities of 
etymology and syntax in the Gaelic language by investigations 
into the oldest forms of the language as these are contained in ancient 
writings. It seems to me, however, that some of the energy that 
is devoted to the increase of our knowledge regarding the changes 
which Gaelic has undergone in the course of the centuries might be 
profitably employed in smoothing the difficulties of the student of 
Modern Gaelic. We have men who are competent not only to 



Certain Peculiarities of Gaelic Idiom, 189 

account for the transformation of words and to trace the origin of 
inflections, but to supply the light necessary to illumine much 
that is dark and perplexing in the structure of ordinary Gaelic 
sentences. What I, and perhaps a good many others, desiderate, 
in short, is a good grammar of Modern Gaelic, especially in the 
department of Gaelic syntax. Our desire is that somebody 
possessed of the requisite knowledge would do for our own 
Highland tongue what such books as Geddes's " Principles of 
Latinity," Dr Potts' v Hints towards Latin Prose Composition," 
Abbot's " Latin Prose through English Idiom," and Bradley's 
"Arnold" have done,, or attempted to do, for the Latin language. 
Those whose knowledge of Gaelic has been acquired from their 
infancy onwards understand, at least, how to use its idioms or 
peculiarities. They may be trusted to make few serious mistakes 
in expressing any English sentiment in their own mother-tongue. 
Their language is, as it were, organically connected with their 
thought, and is recognised by all who are similarly circumstanced 
as a natural production. Unfortunately, the writer does not belong 
to this class. All the knowledge he possesses of the language 
of his native district was acquired after he left school, and chiefly 
from books. In seeking to extend that knowledge chiefly for 
the pleasure it affords, and not for philological purposes he has 
encountered many difficulties. These difficulties could be met, 
and progress in the art of translating English into Gaelic ensured, 
if the want to which he has already referred were supplied. It 
may be said, of course, that these difficulties are not of a nature to 
debar the earnest student of Gaelic from making progress in the 
study of the language. What he finds out by his own exertions 
will certainly give him a greater sense of power than any number 
of empirical regulations contained in text-books. At the same 
time, the principle of order demands that the facts of language 
should be classified, as well as the phenomena of other branches of 
study ; and even in the case of the native Gael, a knowledge of 
the laws of Gaelic syntax is essential to an adequate appreciation 
of the virtues, or it may be the vices, of his mother-tongue. The 
value of a work on Gaelic prose composition would be enhanced if 
it contained a somewhat full treatment of Gaelic style that is to 
say, the methods employed in that language for expressing 
thoughts in a beautiful as well as effective manner. A little 
knowledge of any language can be easily acquired, but possesses 
little educative worth unless it includes a knowledge of principles 
as well as of facts. Again and again, English students of Gaelic 
have been told that "the taste of the English" is on their Gaelic, 



190 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

the reproach being concerned not merely with the pronunciation 
of the language, but with the recurrence of constructions which 
betray a loose knowledge of fundamental laws in short, with 
ignorance of the genius of the language. 

Concerning the large subject of Gaelic style, I do not propose 
in this paper to say very much. My purpose is a very humble 
one. I intend to investigate certain grammatical constructions 
which are puzzling to the learner of Gaelic, and to deduce therefrom 
some simple rules, which will be of service to one who approaches 
the study of Gaelic as an outsider. I by no means depreciate the 
value of the Gaelic grammars that are in existence. The only 
fault, or almost the only fault, I have to find with them is, that 
they are not on certain points explicit enough to satisfy the 
requirements of one who studies the language as a foreign tongue. 
My paper is avowedly a fragmentary one. If it serves to indicate 
what can be accomplished in the same direction by one who 
possesses a fuller knowledge of the Gaelic tongue, I shall be 
satisfied. I shall, no doubt, commit some errors, and leave many 
things as hazy as they were before, but approaching the subject, 
as I do, with fresh eyes, I hope that I shall at least point out 
difficulties which have not been detected or attempted to be solved 
by Gaelic scholars, just on account of their facility in using a 
language that is part of their natural endowment. 

The verbs Is and Tha. 

In acquiring a knowledge of Gaelic, the learner experiences no 
little difficulty in apprehending the difference between the two 
substantive verbs, is and tha. The construction of tha is easily 
understood, but with is the case is very different. What I may 
call the " Gaelist," or the man who learns Gaelic as a foreign 
tongue, can be readily recognised, either by the attempts he makes 
to use " is" too frequently, or by the errors he commits when he 
does use it. Dr Stewart, in his excellent grammar, gives him no 
assistance in this matter. Munro is a little more helpful. He 
bids the learner attend to a number of examples (p. 240), which 
he adduces to show the distinction between is and tha, as 

Is ard a' bheinn sin. Tha a' bheinn sin ard. 
Tis a high hill that. That hill is high. 

He does not enunciate any principle, however, for the guidance of 
the learner, except the following : " * Is affirms simply of his 
object, although that object be expressed by two or more words : 
-as Is mi Donull...Bi has a two-fold object, and shows the subject 



Certain Peculiarities of Gaelic Idiom. 191 

and predicate distinctly from each other : as Tim Ddnull aig an 
dorus. Bha na mnathan a' buain (Dr Neilson, p. 126.' The 

predicate is placed immediately after is the subject is placed 

next after bi, &c." I confess I do not possess sufficient intelligence 
to understand Dr Neilson's remarks (as quoted by Munro) : it 
seems to me abeautiful instance ofthe explanation of the obscurumper 
obscurius. Munro gives us a fairly good practical rule for the order of 
the words, when we employ is and tha, and for the rest seems to be 
contented with the quotation he has made. A remark he makes 
on p. 130 of his work indicates that he perceived that the difference 
between these two verbs, is to some extent a matter of style. Of 
the combination of another verb with is, he says " The Gaelic 
expression, being more ernphatical, generally requires some 
intensive word or phrase in the English, to exhibit its import more 
forcibly ; as Is mi nach robh toilichte, I was not (at all) pleased." 
What then is the difference between is and tha ? 

1. Both verbs are used when we connect an attribute with its 
subject, with some difference in the force of the expressions. Thus 
we can say, Is bronach an duine, and Tha an duine bronach, the 
latter being the expression ordinarily employed. 

2. Only tha can act as an auxiliary to another verb " Tha mi 
a' bualadh." 

3. The essential difference between is and tha (so far as they 
are employed in Modern Gaelic) seems to be this Is denotes mere 
existence, and as an Irishman would say, hardly that. Tha 
denotes existence in certain relations, such as place, manner, or 
condition. We can say, " Tha mi an so," but not " Is mi an so." 
Is exists entirely for the benefit of some other word in the 
sentence ; thus we can say, " Is mi(se) a tha an so : "Is ann 
('s ann) an so a tha mi." The verb is in fact has lost its 
independence ; in the last instance, ann has to be attached 
to it in order that it may predicate a local relation. In 
drawing attention to some other word, its function, as we shall 
afterwards see, is a very important one, but it cannot itself be 
used as a predicate of existence. Thus, " God is" cannot be 
expressed by Is Dia. In this respect, i.e., incapability of predicating 
existence, per se, it agrees with tha, but it is so much weaker than tha 
that it never receives the voice accent and always leans for 
support on some word or words which follow it, being usually 
written 's, as in the expression, " 'S tu mo Mhairi ghrinn." Tha 
may be emphasised in speaking, but, so far as I can see, is always 
leans for support on the word which follows it. Again, in such 
expressions as " 'S e Dia mo shlainte," the verb is requires to be 



192 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

fortified by the addition of the pronoun " e." Further proof of 
the weakness or dependence of this verb is to be found in these 
two facts : 

1. It cannot stand alone in answer to a question, as, "An e 
clachair 'tha annad V 1 Is e. Are you a mason 1 ? Yes. Ct. "Am 
bheil thu glic TTha. 

2. In asking a question, it disappears altogether, as, Co e? 
for " Co is e ?" Who is he 1 An tu ? An e ? etc. This happens 
also in negative statements, as, Cha 'n ann an diugh a thainig e y 
for " Cha J n is ann" It's not to-day he came. 

I shall now proceed to illustrate the use of the verb is more 
fully and more systematically, giving the various combinations in 
which it is found, and the corresponding expressions in which tha 
is used where these exist. The combinations may be classified 
thus 

1. Is + adjective in the predicate. 
2. Is + indefinite noun (predicate). 

{Is -f indefinite noun and adj. (predicate) same as 2. 
Is + adj. (predicate) -f- noun with the article (temporary 
subject). 

4. Is + pronoun (subject). 
5. Is + ann. 
6. Is + eadh = seadh. 

What is said of " is" applies of course to its past tense "bu" or 
" ba." A similar remark may be made in regard to " tha" and 
" bha." Interrogative and negative expressions may be left out 
of consideration. 

1. Is + adjective. 

Compare the expressions (1) tha mi bronach, and (2) Is bronack 
mi. The first expression may be translated / am sad, no particular 
emphasis being attached to any part of the sentence. The second 
expression is best translated Sad I am. In this case particular 
stress is laid on the fact of the sadness. The first phrase states 
with logical precision that the attribute sad belongs to the speaker, 
the second is a rhetorical device for calling attention to the 
existence of the reality of the sadness. No. (1) is therefore the form 
to be found in everyday speech when the giving of information 
merely is the purpose of the speaker ; No. (2) is the language of 
poetry, and of impassioned statement. The latter form, as one 
would naturally expect, is to be found frequently in maxims and 



Certain Peculiarities of Gaelic Idiom. 193 

proverbs, and is analogous to such inversions of the logical order 
of a sentence, as " Blessed are the merciful," " Great is Diana," 
and the like. A certain dignity or weight is added to the senti- 
ment by the employment of such an inversion (cf. the expressions 
as ordinarily uttered : the merciful are blessed, &c.) A glance at 
Nicolson's "Gaelic Proverbs" will show the effective way in which use 
is made of the verb is in this connection. A proverb is a generali- 
sation from experience, and is often expressed with the dignity 
and gravity which pertains to a law. Cf. " Is cairdeach an cu 
do'n bhanais, Is coltach an gumia ris a' phiob," and similar ex- 
pressions. The emphatic positions in a sentence are the beginning 
and end, so that in such sentences as "Is br6nach mi," and "Is beann- 
aichte na daoine tr6caireach," both the subject and the predicate 
receive due prominence, the attention being directed specially, 
however, to the predicate.* 

A third variety of the expression under consideration is used, 
especially when a denning or conditioning clause follows " Is 
bronach a tha mi 'nuair 'tha mi cluinntinn nan nithe sin." 

A fourth variety of the expression, formed also by combining the 
two verbs is and tha (Is mise a tha br6nachf), may be translated 
by using an adverb of degree before the adjective, as Munro has 
pointed out. (I am exceedingly sad ; or, perhaps, sad, sad, I am.) 
The entire combination mise a tha bronach is here rendered 
emphatic : No sadness is like mine ! If anybody is sad, it is I ! 
See 4. 

2. Is + indefinite noun. 

(1). Is righ mi. Is clachair thu. Is saor e. These expres- 
sions are all grammatically correct, but out of place except in the 
language of poetry or passion. They are, in short, rhetorical, and 
rarely occur in ordinary conversation. Cf. the proverb, is damh 
thu = chan 'eil annad ach (an) damh. They seem to be used in con- 
versation, chiefly when economy in words is necessary. Short 
pithy statements and interrogations like the following are con- 
stantly employed. " Is bainne so nach eadh ?" or " Am buiune 
so ?" -Milk eh 1 " Is boidheach i so" = Surely, a pretty girl. 

(2). Tha mi saor, tha thu clachair, &c., are not Gaelic. In 
ordinary conversation we say tha mi am righ, tha thu ad clilachair, 
literally, I am in my king, You are in your mason. 

* An expression of the form is bronach mi is very useful when a relative 
clause follows the subject, as " Is bronach an duine a tha gun chairdean," " Is 
beannaichte an duine sin nach gluais an comhaiiie nan daoV The corres- 
ponding expressions with tha are somewhat clumsy and weak, 
t Or, Is e mise a tha bronach. 

13 



194 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

(3). The colloquial emphatic forms are " Is e ('s e) righ 'tha 
annam. 'Se clachair 'tha annad." The following rule can easilv 
be deduced from No. 2 One substantive cannot be predicated of 
another (" pronoun" being included in the term " substantive") by 
means of tha, or tha cannot form the copula between two sub- 
stantives. Cf. the expression " Is Mi an Ti a's Mi" I am that I 
am I am the person (pred.) | that (pred.) I am. Here the Gaelic 
verb is couples substantives or pronouns in both parts of the 
expression. 

Is therefore can couple two nouns, tha cannot. 

Proverbs may be quoted in illustration of the combination of 
is with nouns, as "Is brathair do 'n mhadadh | am meirleach" 
The thief is brother to the hound ; "Is bior | gach srabh 's an 
oidhche" Every straw is a thorn at night.* 

In the case of the so-called composite verbs, the constructions 
is + adj. (is brbnach), and is + noun (is saor). seem to have lost 
their rhetorical power through frequency of use, and to have now 
become the ordinary prose phrases for the ideas intended to be 
expressed by them, as " Is toigh learn," " Is beag orm," &c. 

indefinite noun and adjective, 
adj. + definite article + noun. 

The sentence, "Hunting is delightful work," may be trans- 
lated 

(1). Is obair eibhinn | an t-sealg. 
(2). Is eibhinn | an obair || an t-sealg. 

The only difference between these two expressions seems to be 
that in the first emphasis is laid 011 the whole predicate (delightful 
work), while in the second the epithet " delightful" is singled out 
for special prominence, the noun (work) to which it is attached 
becoming the subject of the sentence, and having appended to it 
an explanatory subject (hunting) in apposition. f Both the ex- 

* It may be observed here that Is is followed in the cases noted above only 
by an adj., an indefinite noun, or a pronoun. 

t The expression may be analysed thus : 



( Is + 
' 1 Is + 



Link or copula\ 
denoting mere ex- 1 Is 
isteuce, but serv- 1 
ing to emphasise V 
the quality de- 1 
noted by the next 1 
word. / 


eibkinn 
predicate 


an obair 
temporary 
subject 


an t-sealg 
epexegetical 
(explanatory) 
and also real 
subject. 


English Predicate. 



Cf. French (for explanatory subjects), " C'est se tromper (que) de croire." 
" Lui donner des conseils c'est perdre sa peine." " Son plus grand bonheur 
(c')est de faire des heureux." 



Certain Peculiarities of Gaelic Idiom. 195 

pressions (1 and 2) are rhetorical, but the second is the more 
common and the more effective of the two. 

The idea intended to be conveyed cannot be expressed by tha, 
except under a relation of locality, according to the rule just 
stated regarding the predication of one noun of another. With 
tha the expression becomes " Tha an t-sealg na h-obair eibhinn" 
literally, Hunting is in its delightful work, and this is the form 
used in common speech. We can also say (3) " Is i an t-sealg an 
obair eibhinn," but this form is definitive and unusual ; and (4) 
" Is e obair eibhinn a tha anns an t-seilg." These forms will be 
considered afterwards (see 4). Take, as an additional illustration 
of is in this combination, the translation of the sentence " The 
man is a good carpenter."* 

(1). Is saor math | an duine (rare, poetical, passionate). 

(2). Is math an saor | an duine (emphatically math, not so rare 
and more formal ; The man is a good carpenter, that he 
is). 

(3). Tha an duine na shaor math (colloquial, or simple logical 

statement). 

" 'Se an duine an saor math" f means the same as No. 3, but 
is more formal and rarely employed ; " 'S e saor math a tha anns 
an duine" is the emphatic form of No. 3. 

For a discussion of the use of ann (prep.) to express " actual 
existence in any state, relation, position, or office in which one 
may be at any time," I must refer the reader to Nos. 3 and 4 of 
the "Scottish Celtic Review." Dr Cameron explains this idiom on 
philosophical as well as on etymological grounds. The verb ta origin- 
ally = stand (Latin sto.), and hence signifies "radically existence 
connected with localitv." Thus tha e na shaor means primarily 
"he stands in his relation of carpenter;" tha e 'na chadal, "he 
exists in his relation of sleep." On the other hand, the preposition 
ann is not necessary when the predicate is an adjective, as " Tha 
e fuar," He is cold, for the simple reason that the adjective in 
itself denotes posture or local condition (literal or metaphorical), 
and is in fact equivalent to an adverbial phrase. Cold = in cold. 
So " Tha e saoibhir," He is rich = He stands in a rich condition. 
The genius of the language is opposed to such an expression as 

* Rule All sentences of this form, therefore, are translated by detaching 
the adjective from the English predicate, and making its noun follow it in the 
definite form, when stress is to be laid on the adjective, as '* Honour is a 
tender thing" " Is beadarach an ni an onoir." 

t Only definite nouns or equivalents are used to express equations after is e, 
&c., see below 4. 



196 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

" He stands carpenter," although such expressions as, Incedit 
regina, She walks a queen, are common in Latin. Dr Cameron's- 
explanation of " Tha e fuar," is that " a quality exists in the sub- 
ject, not the subject in a quality." This, however, is metaphysics. 
It is not true in grammar, for in certain sentences, states, relations, 
or functions, &c., such as "saor," are regarded as qualities, and so 
exist in the subject. In Gaelic, the " carpenter" can exist in the 
man, as well as the man in his " carpenter," e.g., " 'S e saor tha 
annad." (It is a carpenter that is in you). " Cha'neil innt' ach 
a' ghlaoic." (She is but a silly woman). With this last compare 
" Cha'n eil ise na glaoic," from which we see that the verb " fell," 
though by its etymology devoid of the idea of " standing," takes, 
by analogy the same construction as the verb " tha." 

4. Is + pronoun (subject).* 

Consider here, in the first place, such expressions as, " Is mise 
an dorus," "Is mise am buachaill math" I am the door, I am the 
good shepherd. Both these expressions are formal, effective, 
rhetorical. We may at once deduce the rule A predicate con- 
sisting of a noun and the definite article cannot be made by means 
of tha. In other words, a relation of absolute identity cannot be 
made by tha. The device of using the preposition " aim" with 
the noun cannot be employed here. We can say, I am a door, 
" Tha mi am dhorus ;" but not " Tha mi an dorus." Is is the 
substantive verb used to express absolute identity. 

Observe, again, that in connection with such a predicate, the 
subject pronoun (mise) comes after the verb is. In former cases 
we saw that the predicate came after is. Contrast with the above 
expressions the rhetorical forms for "I am a door," &c., " Is dorus 
mi," "Is buachaill mi." Another rule may be enunciated here 
Is cannot be immediately followed by the definite article,! or by a 
proper noun. (A proper noun is in its nature definite, restricted 
in any particular case to one individual). " Is mise Alastair," I 
am Alexander ; "Is Alastair mi," I am an Alexander. 

The absolute identity of subject and predicate gives us the 
reason for placing the subject pronoun immediately after is. When 
subject and predicate are absolutely identical, their position is 
determined by considerations of euphony and non-ambiguity. " Is 

* The pronoun may often be considered as the predicate. 
fThe usage is thus Is + indef. noun, or adj. + pronoun, or def. noun ; and 
Is + pronoun + def. noun, or equivalent. Cf. 'An Roinhanach thu ? and An tu 
an Rornhanach ? 



Certain Peculiarities of Gaelic Idiom. 197 

Alastair mi" might mean (logically, though not as matter of fact), 
I am Alexander; but custom has determined that, in addition to 
pronouns, only indefinite expressions (such as adjectives, and nouns 
without the definite article), should immediately follow is. Again, 
the emphatic position is that of the word which follows is, and 
the pronoun " I " is evidently more important than the name 
Alexander. We cannot say, " Is mi dorus," because dorus is the 
predicate, and, according to established custom, comes after is. It 
is interesting also to observe that since the word following is is in 
the emphatic position, the pronouns mi, thu, &c., require in general 
to be strengthened, and take the forms mise, thusa, &c., accord- 
ingly. Such expressions as " Is e Dia mo bhuachaill," where e does 
not take the emphatic form, will be explained immediately. In 
the sentence, "Is tu fhein a th6isich an toiseach," &c., the tu is 
strengthened by the jhein, and in "Is tu 'thilg a' chlach air a' 
chaisteal, the tu is not emphatic,* a contrast is drawn between the 
stone and the castle. 

Is e, Is i, Is iad. 

Such expressions as Is e, is i, is iad, are very convenient in 
translating certain kinds of sentences into Gaelic, and must be 
considered separately. A very simple rule can be formed from the 
examples in which they occur. We now pass from the considera- 
tion of such expressions as "Is esan am buachaill," which is 
parallel to "Is mise an dorus," &c. 

Let us first determine the grammatical construction of such a 
combination as "Is e am Focal Dia," The Word is God. We can 
also say, " Is e Dia am Focal." Dia and am Focal are two definite 
expressions, and therefore no consideration except that of euphony 
and non-ambiguity determines which is to come first. " Is e am 
Focal Dia," literally means, It, viz., the Word, is God. It (e) is 
the subject, am Focal is the explanatory subject. The pronoun 
" e" is used because Focal is masculine. In " 'S i so fianuis Eoin," 
This is the witness of John, the gender of the pronoun is deter- 
mined by so, and the gender of so by fianuis.^ It is interesting 

* The form is mi (is mise) may, of course, be followed by a relative clause 
(as in " Is mi a 'tha bronach.") A very effective use is made of this particular 
combination in answer!' ig a question by emphasing a particular fact, as " Am 
faca tu e ?" " Chunnaic," Yes, but " Is mi a chunnaic," That I did There 
is no doubt about it. 

+ It seems more correct, however, to say, " Is e so fianuis Eoin," i.e., this 
statement is the witness of John, not, this witness is the witness of John. 



198 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

to observe by the way that, in ordinary conversation, is e (is i), is 
omitted when followed by demonstrative pronouns like so, sin ; as 
in " (Is e) So tigh Sheumais," This is James's house. The verb 
Is, as we saw before, exists in a state of dependence or decay, and 
has a tendency to become contracted, or to vanish altogether. 

The following examples illustrate the usage of the compound 
expressions, is e, is i, is iad 

(1) Is e | Dia | mo shlainte. 

Is e | 'n t ionnsachadh 62 | an t'ionnsachadh boidheach. 

(3) Is i | an oidhche an oidhche | na'm b'iad na fir na fir. 

(4) Is iad | na laithean fada na laithean a's miosa. 

(5) Is e | do shuil | do cheannaiche. 

(6) Is e j deireadh nan ceannaichean | dol a sbniomh shioman. 

(7) Is e | farm ad a ni treabhadh. 

(8) 'S e j 'bh'aig Darnlaidh 'na aghaidh, | gu'n robh e fein 's a' 

bhan-righ ro mhor aig a cheile. 

(What Darnley had against him was that he and the 
queen were too much together). 

(9) Is e | tuarasdal a' pheacaidh | am bas. 

In all these examples, is e (is i, is iad) is followed by two equa- 
tions, or two identical expressions. In fact, is e (is i, is iad) might 
be translated by the mathematical = , or sign of equality. Again, 
these two equations are definite nouns* or their equivalents. The 
subject (in the English expression) comes immediately after is e, 
is i, is iad, and then the predicate. The order of subject and 
predicate is regulated chiefly by euphony. We may say, instead 
of " Is e tuarasdal a' pheacaidh am bas," " Is e am bas tuarasdal 
a' pheacaidh" just as in English we can say, " Death is the wages 
of sin." as well as, " The wages of sin is death." The expression 
which immediately follows the is e (is i, is iad) seems to be more 
accented than that which closes the sentence, although the effect 
of the construction employed is to give due prominence to both 
parts of the statement. 

In Nos. (7) and (8) the construction is a little different from 
that of the other clauses. No. (7) It is emulation that makes 
ploughing. No. (8) is construed as translated. 

The reason why the pronouns e, i, iad are used, and not the 
corresponding emphatic forms, is that these words are merely 
temporary subjects, as the French ce in "C'est moi qui parle," and 
the English it in 'Tis I who speak. From the very nature of the 

* Mo shlainte = the salvation of me. Tuarasdal a' pheacaidh = the wages of sin. 



Certain Peculiarities of Gaelic Idiom. 199 

case, therefore, the emphasis is laid on the words that follow these 
pronouns. 

Sentences such as the above being formal enunciations of the 
identity of two definite nouns, or emphatic statements of particular 
facts, are necessarily translated by the verb is. If for sentence 
No. (7) we were to substitute " Thafarmad a' deanamh treabhadh," 
the effect of the statement is considerably different. No. (7) 
means that emulation more than anything else makes plough- 
ing. The alternative translation merely states the fact that 
emulation is in the act of making ploughing it restricts the 
attention to the predicate. 

We are now in a position to lay down the following rules : 

1. When an English expression consists of two definite nouns 
or their equivalents, connected by the verb to be, it is usually 
translated by the formulae is e, is i, is iad, followed immediately 
by the more accented of the two nouns, thus : " Charlie is my 
darling" " Is e | Tearlach | mo run." " Charlie is my darling" 
"Is e | mo run | Tearlach." We cannot say, " Is Tearlach mo 
run" (which would mean, rhetorically, "My darling is a Charlie) ;" 
nor can we say, " Is mo run Tearlach," mo run being definite. We 
could say, of course, " Is run dhomh Tearlach," run being in- 
definite ("a darling to me"). Again, " The light of the body is 
the eye" " Is i an t-suil solus a' chuirp." In " Is e solus a' chuirp 
an t-suil," the accent is placed on the solus. 

2. When an English expression consists of a subject and a 
predicate, if the subject is to be rendered emphatic, the same 
formulae may be used, followed by the subject and a relative 
clause, thus : " Practice makes expert" " Is e | 'n cleachdadh a 
ni teoma." So, "A man acts, a dog tells" "'S e | duine | a ni, 
's e | cu | a dh' innseas."* 

What I may call " the phenomenon of the double e" is an 
exact application of Rule 1. Thus, " This is he" " Is e | so | e ;" 
" It is the city of the great king" "Is e | baile an righ mh6ir | e;" 
lit. "It, viz., the city of the great king is it" the weak " e" (sub- 
ject in English) being thrown to the end. " Ma 's E ur toil | e" 
If IT [viz., a certain statement (neuter), which is] your will is it 
= if it is your will = if you please. 

*Man and dog aie definite the class man and the class dog. So, 
" God created the heavens" " Chruthaich Dia na neamhan" (ordinary form). 
" God created the heavens" " Is e | Dia | a chruthaich na neamhan" 
(emphatic form). 



200 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

5. Is + Ann. 

The combination of is with ann is another device for expressing 
emphasis in Gaelic. We shall first jot down a few examples : 

(1) Is ann air an duthaich a thainig an da latha ! 

(2) Is ann air a' mhuic reamhair a theid an t-im. 

(3) Is ann aige a tha an sgoil. 

(4) Is ann mar sin a bha e. 

(5) Is ann mar a chuirear an siol a dh'fhasas e. 

(6) An aite seasamh, is ann a theich iad ! 

(7) Is ann a' dol a dhannsadh a bha iad ! 

(8) Cha 'n ann a bhriseadh an lagha a thainig mi. 

(9) Is ann a dh'fhasas an siol mar a chuirear e. 

(10) 'S ami ur a tha e. 

(11) Is ann boidheach, 's cha 'n ann daicheil. 

(12) Nach ann | ami a tha 'n latha briagha !* 

In all these expressions, is ann is the equivalent of the formula 
" is e," and may be literally translated " it is," or " is there." 

The use of is ann is much the same as that of is, is e, &c. to 
bring into prominence the phrase that immediately follows it, and 
by this means to add force to the whole sentence. Wherever is 
ann is used, a change takes place in the usual order of words in a 
sentence. It is generally employed to express indignation or sur- 
prise ; thus, the first sentence may be translated, " What a change 
has come over the country," and the last, " What a fine day !" 
Several of the instances given indicate that it is frequently used 
in proverbs. " Fasaidh an siol mar a chuirear e" = the seed 
grows as it is sown. " Is ann a dh' fhasas," &c. = Just as the seed 
is sown, so it grows. " Is ann mar a chuirear an siol," &c. = Just 
as the seed is sown, so it grows. 

The following rule may be deduced as to its use : Is ann is 
employed most frequently before adverbs or adverbial phrases or 
clauses. 

Thus it was = 'S ann mar so a bha e. It is employed very 
effectively in the apodosis or consequential clause of a statement, 
as " Ge b 'e ni a bhios os cionn so, is ann o'n olc ata e" Whatsoever 
is more than this, is of evil. The latter part of the Latin expres- 
sion quo... .eo.; English ^Ae the is translated by is ann, thus, 

"The sooner I hear, the sooner I shall go = Mar is luaithe a 
chluinneas mi, 's ann is luaithe a dh'fhalbhas mi. 

* This sentence is similar in form to the first five. Nach ann = Nach is ann ; 
the second ann is an adverb modifying tha, and is transposed in order to be 
emphasised by the first ann. 






Certain Peculiarities of Gaelic Idiom. 201 

Is ann before adjectives is rare, and not to be imitated. It is 
frequently used before relative clauses in Gaelic, but these' are 
generally" restricted by some adverbial expression, as in Nos (6) 
and (9). 

7.5 is the word usually employed before adjectives, as we have 
already seen, and in certain common expressions it takes the place 
of is ann before adverbs, as 7s minig a bha an Donas daicheil, is 
trie a bha sonas air beul m6r, is fhada bho'n thubhairt mi, &c. 

6. Is + eadh = seadh. 

The latter part of this expression is cognate with the neuter 
pronoun it (English), id (Latin). Seadh may generally be trans- 
lated by that's it or 'tis so. It is often employed absolutely, in 
assenting to a previous proposition, as " Gu deinihin a ta mi a 
'teachd an aithghearr. Amen. Seadh, thig a Thighearn losa." 
Even so. In some parts of the Highlands, the formula of assent is 
sinjhein. The negative of seadli is Cha'n eadh or Ni h-eadh. 

The words "Yes" and " No" are variously translated in Gaelic 
according to the form in which the question is put. Except in the 
case of seadh, the answer always repeats the verb that is used in 
the principal sentence of the question. Is is the only verb that 
cannot stand alone in answer to a question. The following are 
examples of affirmative replies : 

(1). An d' thainig thu t Thainig. 

(2). Am bheil e marbh 1 Tha. 

(3). An tu 'tha ann ? Is mi. 

(4). An esan (ise) a tha ann ? Is e (is i). 

(5). Am bheil e ami ? Tha. 

(6). An ann a Duneidin a thainig e? 'S ann. 

(7). An e fear a tha annad ? Is e ('s e). 

(8). Am fear e ? - Seadh. 

(9). Am bainne so ? Seadh. 

The rule regarding seadh may be thus stated : Seadh is to be 
used when the answer refers to a predicate (adj. used as a noun, 
or noun) attached to the verb is (expressed or understood).* The 
last question may be put thus : " Is bainne so, (nach eadh) ?" and 
and the answer is seadh. 

From the preceding discussion, the general conclusion may be 
drawn that is in Gaelic, though unemphatic itself, is largely used 
when any deviation from the supposed ordinary method of expres- 
sion takes place for the sake of effect. It is an appropriate device 

* An e sin modh ? 'S e. Am modh sin ? Seadh. Professor Mackinnon. 



202 



Gaelic Society of Inverness. 



for altering the usual order of words, especially when the language- 
attains a certain level of dignity, indignation, or pathos. In 
certain combinations (as in "Is bronach mi an diugh") it occurs more 
frequently in poetry than in prose, but it is inseparable from the 
idiom of everyday speech, especially in interrogations, and when 
employed in conjunction with other verbs (such as tha). As a 
stranger to the language of the Gael is known by his inability to- 
use this idiom aright, so a Highlander more accustomed to his 
mother tongue than to the language ot the Southron is detected 
most readily by his attempt to transplant this native style of 
conversation into English. Mr William Black rings the changes 
on this idiom in his Highland novels. Thus "There is many a 
time that I have said to him ;" " It will be a bad day the day I 
quarrel with my own people ;" and so on ad libitum. 

The Position of the Object after an Infinitive. 

The next peculiarity of Gaelic diction that I take up is- 
also inadequately dealt with in the grammars. All the 
grammars state that the noun object which follows the verb- 
noun, or infinitive mood, is put in the genitive, while the 
object preceding it is put in the accusative. What learners of 
Gaelic desire is an answer to the question, When does the object 
precede the infinitive 1 

For the sake of clearness, I shall call the form bualadh 
(striking) a verb-noun ; in combination with the preposition do (a), 
the verb-noun may be called the infinitive. 

Do is the preposition to, and, like the corresponding term in 
English, seems originally to have denoted purpose. It is usually 
written in the form a. We shall call a bhualadh, when it denotes, 
purpose, the strong infinitive ; when it does not denote purpose, 
the weak infinitive. 

Consider these two sentences : 



(1) Dh aithn e dhomh 

(2) Thainig mi 



an dorus a bhualadh. 
a bhualadh an doruis. 



In the first sentence, " An dorus a bhualadh" is a noun phrase, 
in the second, " A bhualadh an doruis" is a phrase of purpose, or 
an adverbial phrase. The rule, therefore, is In noun phrases, the 
object precedes the infinitive, in phrases of purpose, the object 
follows the infinitive, or, shortly, the strong infinitive is followed 
by its object ; in other cases, the weak infinitive is preceded by its. 
object. This rule, it should be noted, strictly applies only when 
the strong infinitive (or infinitive of purpose) follows a verb. 



Certain Peculiarities of Gaelic Idiom. 



203 



Obs. 1. Verbs beginning with "f," (fill, to fold), and with a 
rowel (oT) are a little peculiar. The do (a) of the weak infinitive 
lost, and an additional do (a) is placed before the strong 
ifinitive, as 

an t-aodach fhilleadh. 



Thainig mi 



. f a dh' fhilleadh an aodaich. 



[a dh' ol an uisge. 



Obs. 2. Intransitive verbs in noun phrases are used in their 
^erb-noun form, not in the infinitive form,* as 

T . j, , ( eirigh, fuireach. 
Iscolrdhomh !falbh;tuiteam, to. 

N.B. The form a bhi is always used. 

Obs. 3. The noun-phrase construction is used after all those 
expressions that do duty for verbs, as " Is aill learn," " Is toigh 
?am," "Is nar dhomh," "Is beag orm," " Tha eagal orm," 
re., as "I wish (what?) to read the book" (noun phrase),. 
Is aill learn | an ieabhar a leughadhf. The noun phrases are in 
these cases really the subjects of the sentences in which they 
occur, the predicates being the nouns or the adjectives that 
immediately follow is. 

So far there is no difficulty in connection with the position of 
the object. When prepositions, other than do (a), are used before 
the infinitive, or before the verbal noun, the construction is not so 
clear. Here, again, the grammars afford us but little guidance. 

Obs. 1. When gu and chum are used to denote a purpose, the 
object precedes the (weak) infinitive, as "Thainig mi gu mo 
bhrathair 'fhaicinn," " Thainig mi chum I mo bhrathair 'fhaicinn," 
so also " Thaini * mi airson | mo bhrathair 'fhaicinn" I came for 
the purpose of what ? seeing my brother (noun phrase). 

Obs. 2. Ag and the verb noun is equivalent to the English 
participle, and of course takes the object after it. 

Obs. 3. The construction of air, an deigh, and the like is, at 
first sight, a little difficult. 

(1). Air may be followed immediately by the verb-noun, in 
which case the object comes necessarily after the verb. " When the 

* It seems better to put the matter thus than to understand such a verb 
ae a dheanamh (weak infinitive) after them : Is coir dhomh eirlgh, 
(a, dheanamh). 

t Is toigh learn an Ieabhar a leughadh I (myself) wish (or find pleasure 
in) to read the book. Is toigh learn leughadh an leabhair The reading of the 
book (by another) is a pleasure to me. Professor Mackinnon. 



204 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

soldiers heard these words" Air cluintinn nam facal so do no 
saighdearan. " Sending forth executioners" Air cur fir-marbh- 
aidh uaith. " When you pray" Air bhi dhuibhse a' deanamh 
urnuigh. 

(2). If the subject of the verb (represented by do + noun) 
comes immediately after air, the object precedes the (weak) in- 
finitive, as " When the soldiers heard these words" Air do na 
Baighdearaii na facail so a chluintinn. " On his sending forth 
executioners" Air dha fir-marbhaidh a chur uaith. " When you 
prayed" Air dhuibhse urnuigh a dheanamh ; but " When you 
pray" Air dhuibhse bhi deanamh urnuigh. " When you stood" 
Air dhuibhse seasamh : bhi and seasamh being intransitive. 

(3). The epexegitical or explanatory infinitive after nouns and 
adjectives takes the object before it, whether used with a prepos- 
ition or not, as " Chan'eil cothrom again [air] sinn a dheanamh," 
" Chan'eil cothrom agam airson sin a dheanamh" I have not an 
opportunity of doing that. " Cha robh uine aca | uiread as biadh 
itheadh." It will be observed that the infinitive in these cases 
may be considered as an adj. clause, or even as a clause of purpose, 
but here the purpose phrase does not occur after a verb, and there- 
fore the object does not follow the infinitive. They may be con- 
sidered as noun-phrases, however, the expression preceding them 
being equivalent to cha'n urrainn domh (doibh). 

(4). When a preposition is attached to a verb, the predicate 
may be considered as a single expression, and then the rule as to 
noun-phrases applies, as, " They began to pluck the ears of corn" 
" Thoisich iad air | diasan arbhair a bhuain." But the verbal- 
noun construction may be followed, especially if a relative clause 
follows, as, " Thoisich mi air sireadh a' bhrathar nach basaich am 
feasd" " I began to seek the brother that shall never die" 
(Sinclair's "Life of M'Cheyne," translated). 

(5). Object pronouns take the same construction as object 
nouns, except when they are translated by the possessive adjec- 
tives, in which case they, of course, precede the verbal noun. 
" A shaoradh iadsan" (in order to save them) may also, with a 
difference, be translated by " g' an saoradh." Gu (not do) ex- 
presses a purpose when the possessive adjective is used. 

In conclusion, I may state that it was my purpose to take up 
several other Gaelic constructions that present some difficulty to 
the student of Modern Gaelic, and to co-relate these with usages 
tabulated and explained in books on Latin Prose Composition. 
But the limits I have appointed to myself in connection with this 
paper prevent me from referring to these at present. Before I 



Certain Peculiarities of Gaelic Idiom. 205 

close; -however, I cannot help mentioning a difference in Gaelic 
construction that has often puzzled me, and that is seemingly in- 
explicable by the application of logical principles. We say, 
" C'uine 'tha thu dol do'n eaglais V but " C'aite (whither) am bheil 
thu dol?" "C'aite (where) am bheil e gabhail comhnuidh 1 ?" 
The compound interrogative adverbs c'uine and c'&ite are parallel 
to each other (lit. what time, what place), and yet the first is 
followed by a relative clause, the second by an interrogative clause. 
" C'aite a tha" occurrs in the Gaelic Scriptures, however,* and is 
probably found in some parts of the country. 

* John iii. 8. 



306 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 



27th MARCH, 1889. 

At this meeting the Secretary read the following poem, 
"Laoidh Chlann Uisne," with English translation, contributed by 
Mr Alexander Carmichael, Edinburgh : 

LAOIDH CHLANN UISNE. 
BHO DHO'ULL MAC-A-PHI, GOBHAINN, BREUBHAIG, BARRAIDH, MART 15, 1867. 

A Chlann Uisne nan each geala, 
Us sibh an tir nam fear fuileach, 
Gu de e do bhi eir na'r 'n eachaibh, 
Na'n cion-fath a ta 'g ur cumail 1 

Ta 'g 'ur cumail fada 'uainn, 
'S gur ann leibh a chuirteadh an ruaig, 
Do lannan bagairt ur namhuid, 
Bhur 'n amhladh amis a chumasg. 

Ach chuireadh leibh 'ur long a mach 
A chaitheadh a chuain gu h-eolach, 
Bha Naos bu treasa 'ga seoladh, 
Agus Aille maise nan ogan. 

Bha Ardan bu deise 'ga stiuireadh, 
Eir freasdal dithist bhrathar iular, 
Tha ghaoth gun eismeil ri 'sgeiinh, 
A gleachd ri 'trillse grinne reidh. 

Cadal shul is beag a' tlachd. 
Dha 'n mhnaoi tha aca ri deoireachd ; 
Mar tha J n oidhche falach a' boichead, 
Tha Dearduil dubhach dubh-bhronach, 

Dearduil thug barrachd an ailleachd, 

Eir mnathan eile na Feinne ; 

Cha choimeasar rithse each, 

Ach rmr bhaideal eir sgath na reultaig. 

Gu de fath do thurs a bhean, 

'Us sinne beo ri do bheatha, 

J Us nach aithne duinn neach da'r buadhach, 

An ceithir raiiua ruadh an domhan. 






Children of Ufsne. 207 



CHILDREN OF UISNE. 

WRITTEN DOWN BY ALEXANDER CARMICHAEL, CREAGORRY, OUTER HEBRIDES. 
Close Translation. 

Ye Children of Uisne of the white steeds 
And ye in the land of the men of blood 
What boots it ye to be on your horses, 
What the cause of your long delay ? 

That delays you so long from us 
Seeing that ye it is who would force retreat 
On the threatening arms of our foes, 
Would shield us in the combat. 

But ye have sent your ship afloat 
To speed the sea so skilfully ; 
Naos the brave was sailing her, 
And Aille, most noble of youths. 

The deftest Ardan was steering her 
To the guidance of the skilful brothers twain; 
That wind which heeds not her beauty 
Struggles with her smooth lovely lines. 

Sleep of eyes is little to the liking 

Of the woman whom they have weeping, 

And as night her loveliness conceals 

So Darthula is consumed with gloom and grief. 

Darthula who exceeded in beauty 
All other women of the Feinne, 
With her no other woman compares 
Save as the nebulae to the starlet. 

What occasions thy grief, woman, 
And that we live but for thy sake 
While we know not one to subdue us 
Within the four red bounds of the world. 



208 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Aisling a chunnacas an raoir, 
Oirbhse a thriuir bhraithre barra-chaoin, 
Bhur cuibh reach 's bhur cur 'san uaigh, 
Leis a Chonnachar chlaon ruadh. 

Eir chlacha sin 'us eir chranna, 

Agus eir lacha nan lianta, 

Eir chuileana fiar an t-sionnaich. 



Gu de bheir sinne '11 dail an laoicb, 
'Us farsuinneachd na fairge muigh, 
'S a liuthad cala, caol 'us cuan, 
'S am faodamaid taruinn gun uamhas. 

Cadal na h-og mhna ui 'm b'fhaoin ; 
Is dianihain bhi spairneachd ri gaoith 
Loch-Eite nan sian bu chian o'n iul, 
Agus Connathuil nan crannachoille ura. 

Cha tig saoir 'eas a deas mo nuar, 
Cha 'n islich friodh ria gaoith tuath, 
Cha tig Naos eir ais ri a re, 
Cha tog e ri bruthach an fheidh. 

Ris tha Coigeamh a' dluthadh, 
'Us Connachar nan car 'na 'mhur ann, 
Agus an tir uile fo a smachd, 
Anns na ghabh Dearduil a tlachd. 

Bu shoinemheil le Dearduil an t-og, 
Agus aghaidh-mar shoillse an lo, 
Eir li an fhithich do bha ghruag, 
Bu deirge na'n t-siigh a ghruaidh. 

Bha chneas mar chobhar an t-sruth, 
Bha mar uisge balb a ghiith, 
Do bha chridhe fearail fial, 
'Us aobhach ciuin mar a ghrian. 

Ach nuair dh-eireadh a fhraoch 'us fhearg, 
Bi choimeas an fhairge gharg, 
B' ionnan agus neart nan tonn, 
Fuaim nan lann aig an t-sonn, 



Children of Uisne. 209 



A vision which I saw yestreen 
Of you, ye three all-excellent brothers, 
That ye were gyved and laid in the grave 
By the wily red-haired Conachar. 

By the stones and by the trees 



And by the cunning cubs of the fox, 

What should bring us in presence of the hero 
While unbounded ocean lies before us, 
And the many havens, straits, and seas 
To which we may draw without dread. 

Not in vain was the sleep of the maiden, 

Vain it is to strive with the storm ; 

Loch Etive of the elements is far away from their course, 

And Connel of the masted woods so green. 

No wind shall come from the south, my grief ! 
The venom of the north wind will not cease, 
Naos will never come back in his life, 
He never will ascend the hill of the deer. 

To him Fifth is nearing 

And Connachar of the wiles in his palace there, 
While the whole country is under his sway 
Wherein Darthula gave her love. 

Delightful to Darthula was the youth 
Whose face shone like the day, 
Of the lustre of the raven were his locks, 
Redder than the rasp were his cheeks. 

His skin was like the foam of the stream, 
Like melodious water his voice, 
His heart was manly and generous, 
And his mien serene as the sun. 

But when arose his wrath and his ire 

His likeness was the ocean wrath, 

Like as is the strength of waves 

So was the clang of the glave of the brave. 

14 



210 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Mar reodhairt a bhuinne bhorb, 
Bha e 'san araich ri streup cholg, 
Am facas le Dearduil e an tus, 
'S i 'g amharc o mhullach an duin. 

" lonmhuin," ors' an oigh thlath, 
" An t-aineol o bhlar nam beud, 
Ach 's goirt le cridhe 'mhathar, 
A dhainead ri uchd na streup." 

"A nighean Cholla nan sgiath," 
Do radh Naos bu tiamhaich fonn, 
" Ge fada bh'uainn Alba nam Fiann, 
Agus Eite nan ciar-aighe donn." 



Ach a Dhearduil bu ghrinne nos, 
Tha do chomhradh air fas fann, 
Tha toirm nan stuadh us na gaoith, 
A toirt caochladh air d' uirigleadh ann. 

" B' ioma-ghointe mo chridhe ma 'm athair, 
'Us chrom mi gu talamh ga thearnadh, 
Ach chaochail ruthadh a ghruaidh, 
Threig a shnuagh us a chail e." 

Chaidh long Chlann Uisne eir tir 
Fo bhaile mor Righ Connachair, 
Thainig Connachar a mach le 'fheachd, 
(Fichead laoch ceann uallach). 
'Us dh'fhiosraich e le briara bras, 
" Co na sloigh ta eir an luing so ?" 

" Claim eir seachran a t'ann, 
Truir sinn a thainig eir tuinn, 
Eir einich 's eir comaraich .an Righ 
Tha gradh dillseachd ar cairdeis." 

" Cha Chlaim air seachran liomsa sibh, 
Cha bheirt saoidh a rinn sibh orm, 
Thug sibh uam a bhean am braid, 
Dearduil dhonn-shuileach, ghle-gheal." 



Children of Uisne. 211 

Like the spring-tide's powerful flood 

He was in battle striving with death, 

Where Darthula saw him at first 

When looking forth from the top of her tower. 

Beloved, said the lovely maiden, 
Is the stranger from the field of war, 
But sore to his mother's heart 
Is his rashness on the field of strife. 

"Thou daughter of the Coll of the Shields," 
Spoke Naos of the melodious voice, 
" Far from us is Alba of the Feinne 
And Etive of the brown brindled hinds." 



But Darthula of the kindliest grace, 
Weak is become thy speech ; 
The noise of the waves and of the wind 
Is changing thy speech of melody. 

Much grieved was my heart for my father 
And I bent to the ground to save him, 
But the ruddy colour of his cheek forsook him, 
His expression and feeling have left him. 

The ship of the Children of Uisne went ashore 

Below the great town of Conachar, 

Conachar came out with his forces 

(Twenty strong-headed heroes) 

And he demanded in words of wrath, 

" Who are the people on board this ship ?" 

" Children astray are we, 

Three who came over the ocean 

On the truce and the faith of the king 

Is the close friendship of our greeting." 

" Children astray ye are not to me, 
No act of friendship to me ye did, 
From me ye took the woman in abduction, 
Darthula the brown-eyed the lovely fair. 



212 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

" Eirich a dheagh Naos 'us glac do chlaidheamh, 
A dheagh mhic righ is glan coimhead, 
Ge nach faigheadh a cholunu shuairc, 
Ach a mhain aon chuart dha 'n anam." 

Chuir Naos a shailltean ri bord, 
Agus ghlac e a chlaidheamh 'na dhorn, 
Bu gharg deannal nan deagh laoch, 
A' tuiteam eir gach taobh da bord. 

Shorchar mic Uisne 's a ghreis 

Mar thri ghallain a' fas gu deas, 

Eir an sgrios le doinionn eitidh, 

Cha d'fhagadh meangan, meur, no geug diubh. 

" Gluais, a Dhearduil, as do luing, 
A gheug ur an abhra dhuinn, 
'S cha 'n eagal dha do ghnuis ghlain, 
Fuath, no eud, no achmhasan." 

" Cha teid mi mach as mo luing, 

Gus am faigh mi mo rogha athchuinge. 



Oha tir, cha talamh, cha tuar, 
Cha triuir bhraithre bu ghlan snuagh, 
Cha'n 6r, cha'n airgiod, 's cha'n eich, 
Nis mo is bean uaibhreach mis. 

Ach mo chead a dhol dha 'n traigh, 
Far am bheil Clann Uisne nan tamh, 
'S gu'n tiubhrainn na tri poga mine, meala 
Dha'n tri corpa caomha, caoine, geala." 

Ghluais Dearduil a sin dha 'n traigh, 
'Us fhuair i saor a snaitheadh ramh, 
A sgian aige 'na leth-laimh, 
A thuagh aige 'na laimh-eile. 

" A shaoir is fearr ga'm facas riamh, 
Gu de air an toire' tu an sgian 1 
'S fi bheirinnse duit 'ga cionn, 
Aon fhainne buadhach na h-Eirionn." 



Children of Uisne. 213 

Arise, thee Naos, and grasp thy glave, 
Thou brave son of a king so goodly to view 
Though thy comely body shall only get 
But one round of the soul." 

Naos placed his heels to the board 
And he seized his ^lave in his grasp, 
Fierce was the struggle of the bold warriors 
As they fall on each side of her board. 

Overpowered were the sons of Uisne in the combat, 

Like three saplings growing richly 

Destroyed by the blasting eitidh, 

Nor branch nor bough nor twig is left. 

Move thee Darthula from thy ship 
Thou beauteous branch of the brown eyelids, 
And nought to fear has thy pure soul 
From hatred jealousy or reproach." 

"\[ will not go out of my ship 
Till I obtain my choice petition 



It is not land nor country nor riches, 
It is not the three brothers of fairest form, 
It is not gold nor silver nor horses, 
Neither am I a proud woman, 

But my leave to go to the strand 
Where the three Children of Uisne are lying 
That I might seal the three smooth honeyed kisses 
On their three fair, dear, beautiful corses." 

Moved Darthula then to the strand 

And there she found a wright trimming oars, 

His knife he had in his half hand 

And his axe he had in his other. 

"Thou wright the best that has ever been seen 
For what would'st thou give thy knife ? 
What I would give thee in return 
Is the one choice ring of Erin." 



214 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Shanntaich an saor am fainne 

Eir a ghrinnead, eir a dheisead, eir 'ailleachd, 

'Us thug e do Dhearduil an sgian, 

Rainig i leatha ionad a miann. 

" Cha ghairdeachas gun Chlann Uisne, 
! is tursach gun bhi na'r cuallachd ; 
Tri mic righ le 'n diolta deoire, 
Tha J n diugh gun chomhradh ri uchd uagha. 

Tri maghamhna Inse-Breatuinn, 
An triuir sheobhag shliabh a Chuillinn, 
An triuir da 'n geileadh na gaisgich 
'S da tiubhradh na h-amhuis uram. 

Na tri coin a b'ailli snuagh, 
A thainig thar chuan nam bare, 
Triuir Mhac Uisne an liuinn ghrinn, 
Mar thriuir eal' air tuinn a' snamh. 

Theid mise gu aobhach uallach, 
Fo 'n triuir uasal a b'annsa ; 
Mo shaoghal nan deigh cha'n fhada 
'Us cha'n eug fear abhuilt domhsa 

Tri iallan nan tri chon sin 
Do bhuin osna ghoint o m' chridhe ; 
'S ann agamsa bhiodh an tasgaidh 
i Mur faicinn an saor cumha. 

A Chlann Uisne tha sid thall, 

Na'r luidhe bonn ri bonn; 

Nan sumhlaicheadh mairbh roimh bheo eile 

Shumhlaicheadh sibhse romham-sa. 

Teann a nail, a Naosne mo ghraidh, 
Is druideadh Ardan ri Aillein ; 
Na'm biodh ciall aig mairbh 
Dheanamh sibh ait dhomhsa." 



Children of Uisne. 215 

The wright coveted the ring 

For its beauty, its power, and its loveliness, 

And he gave to Dearduil the* knife, 

She reached with it the place of her desire. 

There is no joy without the Children of Uisne 

! grief not to be in your company 

The three sons of a king who helped the helpless 
To-day without speech on the brink of the grave. 

The three strong bears of the Isles of Britain, 
The three hawks of the hill of Cuillionn, 
The three to whom heroes would yield, 
And to whom hirelings \vould pay homage. 

The three birds of loveliest colours 
That are come over the ocean of barques, 
The three Sons of Uisne of the beautiful mien, 
Like unto three swans on the water sailing. 

1 will go with joyous gladness 

To the side of the three heroes beloved, 
My world behind them is not long. 
Nor coward's death is mine. 

The three leashes of their three dogs 
Have drawn sore sighs from my heart, 
'Tis I who would have the treasures 
Had 1 not got the fitting gift. 

Ye Children of Uisne over beyond 
Lying together sole by sole 
If dead would closely lie for a living 
Ye would closely lie for me. 

Press closer over ye Naos of my love, 
And Ardan lie ye closer to Aillein, 
Dead ! if ye would have feeling 
Ye would make room for me." 



216 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 



3rd APRIL, 1889. 

At this meeting the Rev. William Cameron, minister of Poolewe, 
was elected a member of the Society. Thereafter Mr Alex. 
Macbain, M.A., read a paper contributed by Mr Alexander 
Macpherson, solicitor, Kirigussie, entitled "Sketches of the Old 
Ministers of Badenoch, Part II." Mr Macpherson's paper was as 
follows : 

SKETCHES OF THE OLD MINISTERS OF BADENOCH. 

PART II. 

Unfortunately, in the case of many of the earlier Ministers of 
the Parishes of Alvie and Laggan as in the case of the earlier 
Ministers of the Parish of Kingussie since the Reformation in 
1560 I have been unable to trace any particulars beyond the 
bare record of their names, with the addition, in some cases, of the 
duration of their ministry. But I proceed to give a summary of 
the succession of the Protestant Ministers of Alvie and Laggan 
for the last three hundred years, with such glimpses, gleaned 
from various sources, regarding them as may, I hope, be con- 
sidered of some general interest. 

II. PARISH OF ALVIE. 

1. JAMES SPENCE, EXHORTER. 

1572-15. 

2. JOHN ROSS. 
1579-15. 

A son of John Ross, Provost of Inverness. Presented by James VI., 
31st March, 1579, but does not appear to have been settled. 

3. WILLIAM MAKINTOSCHE. 

1580-1585. 

Demitted prior to 19th August, 1585. 

4. SOVERANE MAKPHERLENE OR M'PHAIL. 

1585-159. 

Presented by James VI., 19th August, 1585, and 6th April, 1586. 
Continued in 1594. 

5. ROBERT LESLIE. 

1595-159. 

Continued in 1597. 



Sketches of the Old Ministers of Badenoch. 217 

6. RODERICK SUTHERLAND. 
1599-16. 

Continued in 1601. 

7. JAMES LYLE. 
161626. 

Formerly of Ruthven. Was Minister of Alvie "long before 12th 
October, 1624" Laggan being also under his care. Is said not 
to have understood the Irish language. " Being of verie great age 
and infirm," demitted his charge in 1626 on condition of getting 
ij l.i. (3s 4d) yearly. 

8. RODERICK MACLEOD. 
1632-1642. 

Declared "transportable," 5th April, 1642. Deposed towards 
close of same year for fornication. 

9. THOMAS MACPHERSON, 

1662-1708. 

Of the family of the Macphersons of Invereshie. For sometime 
Schoolmaster in Lochaber. Having entered to preach without 
having passed his trials, he expressed his sorrow to the Presbytery 
of Lorn, 12th September, 1660, and was licensed by that Presby- 
tery, llth April, 1661. Ordained before 21st October, 1662. 
During his incumbency the Parish of Alvie was (in 1672) united 
with the Parish of Laggan. Died in 1708. 

10. ALEXANDER ERASER, A.M. 

1713-1721. 

Alumnus of the University of King's College, Aberdeen, where he 
obtained his degree in 1706. Was "Highland Bursar" to the 
Presbytery of Haddington. Licensed by that Presbytery 10th 
March, 1713. Ordained, 13th September, same year. Mr Fraser 
was Minister of Alvie during the Rising of 1715, and in the Minute 
of the Kirk-Session, of date 13th May, 1716, it is declared that 
" there was no possibility of keeping Session in this Paroch all the 
last Session until the Rebellion was quelled" Mr Fraser, it is 
added, " being often oblidged to look for his own safety." Mr 
Fraser was translated to Inveravon on 26th April, 1721. 

11. LUDOWICK (or LEWIS) CHAPMAN. 
1728-1738. 

Had a Bursary at the University of Glasgow on the Duchess of 
Hamilton's Foundation. Studied afterwards at Edinburgh and 
Leyden. Licensed at the latter place, 2nd March, 1728. Called 
to Alvie by the Presbytery of Abernethy, jure devolato, 5th, and 
ordained, 25th September, same year. Translated to Petty, 30th 
March, 1738. 



218 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

12. WILLIAM GORDON", alias MACGREGOR. 
1739-1787. 

For sometime Schoolmaster in Kingussic, and subsequently 
Catechist in Laggan. Ordained and admitted as Minister of 
Urquhart and Glenmoriston, 24th December, 1730. Called to 
Alvie, 30th January, and admitted 20th September, 1739. Mr 
Gordon was well and favourably known in connection with the '45. 
Remarkably enough, in view of the prominent part the High- 
landers of Badenoch took in that Rising, there is no reference 
thereto either in the Session Records of Kingussie, or in those of 
Alvie. From other sources of information, however, we learn of 
an event connected with the '45 reflecting the greatest credit on 
Mr Gordon. For the capture of "the demoted Ewen of Clunie," 
who held such powerful sway in Badenoch, and had, at the head 
of the Macphersons, been among the first to join the Standard of 
Prince Charlie, a reward of 1000 was offered. Burnt out of 
hearth and home, Cluny was, subsequent to the Battle of 
Culloden, hunted in the mountain fastnesses of Badenoch for the 
long period of nine years, ultimately after many hair-breadth 
escapes and enduring the most terrible hardships making his 
way beyond the reach of his relentless pursuers only to die in 
exile. He and his Clan had been long proscribed, and Mr Gordon 
was employed by " the bloody Duke of Cumberland " with the 
view of inducing them to lay down their arms on the assurance 
that, if they did so, they would be restored to their name and 
countenanced by the Government, or if they joined the Royal 
Army, " that their commanders would have similar rank and be 
cared for by the Commander-in-Chief." This offer, however, was 
firmly rejected. Reduced to the greatest privation after the sad 
disaster on " bleak Culloden Moor," many of their number applied 
to Mr Gordon for relief, and were hospitably received at his Manse. 
The fact having been communicated to the Duke of Cumberland, 
then at Inverness, Mr Gordon was summoned to headquarters, and 
required to answer for himself. With a feeling of conscious- 
integrity, he said: "May it please your Royal Highness, I am 
exceedingly straitened between two contrary commands, both 
coming from very high authority. My Heavenly King's Son 
commands me to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to give 
meat and drink to my very enemies, and to relieve, to the very 
utmost of my power, indiscriminately all objects of distress that 
come in my way. My earthly King's son commands me to drive- 
the homeless wanderer from my door, to shut my bowels of com- 
passion against the cries of the needy, and to withhold from my 



Sketches of the Old Ministers of Bac/enoch. 219 

fellow mortals in distress the relief which it is in my power to 
afford. Pray which of these commands am I to obey?" 
Inhumanly cruel and bloodthirsty as he proved to the poor house- 
less wandering followers of ill-fated Prince Charlie the " King of 
the Highlanders " the Duke, it is narrated, was so impressed with 
the humane feelings and noble sentiments of the worthy Minister, 
that he felt constrained to reply : " By all means obey the 
commands of your Heavenly King's Son." 

Mr Gordon died on 2nd April, 1787, in the 101st year of his 
age and 57th of his ministry, discharging, we are told, the duties 
of his sacred office until within six months of his death. All 
honour to his memory ! 

13. JOHN" GORDON, A.M. 

1788-1805. 

Native of Ross. Studied at the University and King's College, 
Aberdeen, where he took his degree in 1770. Ordained by the 
Presbytery of AbertarfF, 8th May, 1779, as Missionary at Fort- 
William. Presented by Alexander, Duke of Gordon, and admitted 
as Minister of Alvie, 8th May, 1788. Got a new church built in 
1798. Died 6th October, 1805, in the 55th year of his age and 
27th of his ministry. His descendants were tenants of Easter 
Lynwilg, on the estate of the Duke of Richmond, for a period of , A ^ 
about sixty years after his death in 1 805. i 4 6 - / J" i S~ *f*> V*** 

14. JOHN MACDONALD, A.M. 

1806-1854. 

Native of the County. Obtained his degree from the University 
and King's College, Aberdeen, in 1797. For some time School- 
master of Dornoch. Licensed by the Presbytery of Dornoch,. 
4th February, 1802. Ordained by the Presbytery of Abernethy 
in December, 1803, as assistant to the Rev. John Anderson, 
Kingussie. Presented to the Parish of Alvie by Alexander, 
Duke of Gordon, in March, and admitted, 24th July, 1806. Long 
familiarly known by the cognomen of " Bishop John." For 
the following particulars regarding him, I am indebted to the Rev. 
Mr Anderson, the present Minister of the Parish : 

The current volume of the Session Records begins with Mr 
Macdonald's incumbency. It has been well kept, and the penman- 
ship and fullness and clearness of its Minutes are admirable. Mr 
Macdonald was for many years the Clerk of the Presbytery of 
Abernethy. He was a very able and popular preacher, both in 
English and Gaelic, and took great interest in the education of the 
young. Apart from the Parish School, he established in the early 



220 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

part of his Ministry three other schools one of these being wholly 
confined to instruction in Gaelic. Besides preaching at Alvie, he 
officiated every third Sunday at Insh, and frequently had services 
on Sunday evenings in outlying parts of the Parish. Thus, the 
early and greater part of his ministry was abundant in labours. 

As an author, he wrote a satire in verse on the " Men " of 
Duthil, in which he exposes, in trenchant terms, the love of these 
woithies for the good things of this life. Their professional piety 
formed a passport to every table, and in exercising this privilege they 
made a point, he maintained, of making choice of the table best known 
for its rich food and good whisky. Pre-eminent intellectually among 
the Highland Ministers of the time, Mr Macdonald wad no less 
distinguished for his physical strength, a well-known instance of 
which may be appropriately related. On one occasion he was 
waiting in the Churchyard for a funeral announced to take place. 
After waiting for two hours beyond the time appointed, he started 
to meet the funeral, which was coming from the west end of the 
Parish. On reaching the Moor of Alvie, about a mile and a half 
from the Church, he found the bier laid at the side of the road 
and the whole of the funeral company engaged in a free fight. 
Boldly going into the midst of the combatants, he sought by word 
and hani TO separate them. Among their number was a well- 
known bully, who made a rush at the Minister and attempted to trip 
him. The Minister, however, seized his antagonist and threw him 
with such force to the ground that he lay stunned for some minutes. 
This incident brought all the combatants to their senses, and the 
bier was immediately raised and carried in silence to the Church 
yard. The Minister further punished the company by ordering 
them away as soon as the grave was closed, without allowing them 
to partake of the customary refreshments in the Churchyard. 
"Here," adds Mr Anderson, "reference may be made in passing 
to the use of whisky at funerals in the Highlands. This use has, 
in times past, been turned too often into abuse. But in many 
houses of mourning other suitable refreshments cannot be con- 
veniently given, and as people often come long distances on foot 
to funerals, and the bier has frequently to be carried many miles, 
there can be no doubt that in such cases some refreshments are 
required, and probably whisky with bread and cheese is the most 
available. Those who condemn its use do not keep this in view. 
The use of whisky at funerals cannot, I fear, be stopped until a 
hearse is provided for every parish. With such a vehicle in 
common use, the partaking of whisky at funerals in the Highlands 



Sketches of the Old Ministers of Baden och. 221 

would, I believe, be as rare as it is in towns, and the custom, old 
as it is, thus become more honoured in the breach than in the 
observance." 

Mr Macdonald was married in 1841 for the fourth time 
his fourth wife predeceasing him in 1845. He died in 1854 at 
the advanced age of ninety-four years. Now that the intensely 
bitter and unchristian spirit to which the Secession of 1843 so 
unhappily gave rise, has, in a great measure, subsided, many old 
persons still living in the parish who joined in that Secession may 
be heard speaking of Mr Macdonald with affection, and of his long 
ministry with admiration. 

15. DONALD MACDONALD. 

1854-1879. 

Presented by the Duke of Richmond Lennox. Translated from 
ths Parliamentary Parish of Trumisgarry, and admitted as Minister 
of Alvie, 29th November, 1854. Died 6th November, 1879. 

16. JAMES ANDERSON. 

1880 . 

The present energetic and much respected Minister. Was for 
some years a Minister of the Presbyterian Church of Canada. 
Called by the congregation, and admitted as Minister of Alvie, 
22nd April, 1880. Through Mr Anderson's instrumentality, great 
improvements have, within the last few years, been effected in 
connection with the Chuich and Parish. Since his appointment 
the Church has been almost entirely renewed and so much 
improved that it is now one of the neatest and most attractive 
edifices of the kind in the Highlands. Through his unwearied 
efforts, a commodious and comfortable hall has also been erected 
at Kincraig, which has been found most useful for parish purposes. 

For sometime after the Secession of 1843, only a lay Missionary 
was employed in connection with the Free Church in Alvie and 
Eothiemurchus, namely, Mr Donald Duff, Lynchat, long a 
Catechist in the district down to 1853 or 1854. Was subsequently 
Catechist for some years at Dingwall under the late well-known 
Dr Kennedy, and afterwards at Stratheirick. 

The Free Church of Alvie was built in 1852. Mr James Grant, 
who was ordained as minister of that Church in Rothiemurchus and 
Alvie on 17th March, 1856, was a man of great mental power, with a 
decided turn for languages and mathematics. He knew a little of 
sixteen languages, but excelled in Hebrew. In devotion to his 
books, in primitive simplicity of character and habits, and in firm 
attachment to the " fundamentals," he reminded one very much 



1222 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

of Dominie Sampson. As a preacher, Mr Grant never wrote his 
sermons, nor did they pretend to much culture, but, intimately 
acquainted as he was with the habits and modes of thinking of the 
people, he was often pointed and graphic, frequently upsetting the 
gravity even of " grave and reverend seigniors." 

Mr Norman Macdonald, the present incumbent, was ordained 
as minister of the Free Church in Alvie, on 27th October, 1868. 
Possesses excellent attainments, and writes with great ease and 
vigour. His subjects are always arranged with admirable clear- 
ness, and handled with more than ordinary ability. Has now 
ministered with untiring zeal and devotion to his attached flock 
in Alvie for a period of fully twenty years. 

III. PARISH OF LA GO AN. 

Short descriptions of the old churches of Kingussie and Alvie 
have been given in previous papers. " St Killen's Church," the 
" little aul' kirk of Laggan," says Gordon, the editor of the new 
edition of Shaw's "History of the Province of Moray," published 
in 1882," is worth notice. Besides a very small altar-stone, it has 
two little side altars under rounded arches. At the south 
entrance is a large, round granite baptismal font, capable of 
immersing the infants. In the oldest version of the ballad of 
' Sir James the Rose,' founded on fact, reference is made to the 
churchyard of Laggan. The doorway is not 3 feet wide, and in 
both sides there is a groove, as if it had been closed in the manner 
of a portcullis, and a hole in each side may have been for the 
reception of a wooden bar. Near one side of the door is an eyelit 
or oilet for reconnoitring." 

In "A Survey of the Province of Moray," published in 1798, 
"it is said that in the midst of the Coill-more, the great wood, 
extending at one time about five miles along the southern side of 
Loch Laggan, "is a place distinguished by the name of the Ard 
merigie, the height for rearing the standard. It has been held 
sacred, from remote antiquity, as the burial-place of seven Cale- 
donian kings, who, according to tradition, lived about the period 
when the Scots, driven northward of the Tay by the Picts, held 
their seat of Government at Dunkeld. It is likewise, by tradition, 
represented as a distinguished place for hunting ; and it abounded 
in deer and roe till they were lately expelled by the introduction 
of sheep, with whom they never mingle. The kings, it is said, 
and their retinue, hunted on the banks of the lake for the greater 
part of almost every summer, which is rendered probable by its 
vicinity to the parallel roads of Glenroy, which must have been 



Sketches of the Old Ministers of Badenoch. 223 

formed solely for the purpose of betraying the game into an 
impassable recess, and could not have been executed but by the 
influence of some of the first consequence and power in the State. 

" In the lake are two neighbouring islands ; on the largest the 
walls remain of a very ancient building, composed of round stone 
laid in mortar, untouched by the mason's hammer. Here their 
majesties rested from the chase secure, and feasted on the game. 
The other, named Eilan-nan-con, the * Island of Dogs,' was appro- 
priated for the accommodation of the hounds ; and the walls of 
their kennel, of similar workmanship, also remain. 

" Near the middle of the parish is a rock 300 feet of perpen- 
dicular height ; the area on the summit, 500 by 250, is of very 
difficult access, exhibiting considerable remains of fortification ; 
the wall, about 9 feet thick, built on both its sides with large 
flagstones without mortar. 

" Near the eastern end of Loch Laggan, the venerable ruins of 
St Kenneth's Chapel remain in the midst of its own consecrated 
burying-ground, which is still devoutly preferred to the other." 

" Laggan," says Shaw in his " History of the Province of 
Moray," "was a mensal church, dedicated to St Kenneth. The 
Bishop was patron, and settled the parish jure proprio. Now, the 
King is properly patron, and the family of Gordon has no act of 
possession. This parish was sometimes, by the Bishop, annexed 
to Alvie, that he might draw the more teinds from it. Mr James 
Lyle served long in both parishes, and, it is said, understood not 
the Irish language, such penury was there of ministers having that 
language. Upon his demitting, the parishes were disjoined, but 
were again united (by Murdoch Mackenzie, Bishop of Moray) in 
1672, and so continued to the death of Mr Thomas Macpherson. 
It was again disjoined and re-erected in 1708." 

For many particulars regarding the later ministers of Laggan, 
I am indebted to the Rev. Mr Sinton, minister of Invergarry, the 
Clerk of the Presbytery of Abertarff,* a well-known native of 
Badenoch. 

1. ALEXANDER CLARK. 
1569-1574. 

Entered Reader at Lammas, 1569. Promoted to be Exhorter 
in November following. Presented to the Parsonage and Vicar- 
age by James VI., 27th September, 1574, his stipend then being 
XXVI. li. XIIIs. IUJd. (2 4s 5Jd). Died prior to 6th 
November, 1575. 

* Now the Minister of Dores. 



224 Gaelic Society of /nuerness. 



2. JOHN DOW MACQUHONDOQUHY. 
1575 . 

Reader at Dunlichtie and Daviot in November, 1569. Presented 
to the Parsonage and Vicarage by James VI., 6th November, 
1575. Continued in 1589. 

3. JAMES LYLE. 
161626. 

Was Minister of Laggan and Alvie "long before 12th October^ 
1624." Demitted for age in 1626. See No. 7, Parish of Alvie. 

4. ALEXANDER CLARK. 
16 16 -. 

" Laureated" at the University and King's College, Aberdeen, in 
1619. Admitted prior to 3rd April, 1638. Deposed by the Com- 
mission of Assembly at Aberdeen before 5th October, 1647. 
Admitted Master of the Grammar School at Kingussie in 1652. 

5. JAMES DICK, A.M. 

1653-1665. 

Obtained his degree from the University .of St Andrews in 1645. 
Ordained to Laggan prior to 4th October, 1653, having Alvie 
likewise under his care. On 29th October, 1656, the Synod of 
Argyle wrote him " to know what Presbytery he is in, that they 
may write anent his carriage in Lochaber." Was deposed by the 
Bishop and brethren on 15th November, 1665, for drunkenness. 

7. WILLIAM ROBERTSON, A.M. 
1667-1669. 

Graduated at Aberdeen in 1660. Passed his trials before the 
Presbytery of Fordyce, and was recommended for licence on 21st 
February, 1666. Admitted as Minister of Laggan prior to 1st 
October, 1667. Translated to Crathie and Kindrocht or Braemar 
after 6th April, 1669. 

7. THOMAS MACPHERSON. 
1672-1708. 

Was also Minister of Alvie from 1662 to the date of his death in 
1708. See No. 9, Parish of Alvie. 

8. JOHN MACKENZIE. 
1709-1745. 

Translated from Kingussie to Laggan, and admitted prior to 31st 
May, 1709. In 1743, Mr Mackenzie, "owing to his great age, and 
manifold infirmities attending it," petitioned the Presbytery of 
Abertarff to have an assistant and successor appointed. The people 



Sketches of the Old Ministers of Bacfenoch. 225 

mcurred, and signified their desire to have Mr Duncan Macpher- 
m, who had been recently licensed by the Presbytery, settled as 
their minister. The Presbytery entreated the Duke of Gordon to 
ivotir the nominee of the people ; but, until there would be an 
jtual vacancy in the parish, the Duke declined to entertain these 
>vertures. So the matter remained until the parish was declared 
vacant, after Mr Mackenzie's death in 1745. In 1747 Mr William 
>rdon was appointed by the Presbytery to supply services at 
an upon a certain Sabbath, " and to sound the inclinations of 
people as to their choice of a proper person." Afterwards 
;wo candidates were put upon the leet. These were Mr Macpher- 
and a Mr Neil Macleod, a brother of Mr Donald Macleod of 
Jwordale. This Neil Macleod was Macleod of Macleod's chaplain 
the Royal forces during the Rising of 1745. In December, 1746, 
[acleod writes from London to President Forbes of Culloden, 
iking his influence in favour of Neil Macleod's appointment to 
:he parish of Laggan. " You may remember," the writer says, " he 
ras of the Church millitant, and tended me in my expedition 
stward, and stayed with the men constantly till they were sent 
>me, and preached sound doctrine, and really was zealous and 
serviceable." Consequent, apparently, upon President Forbes's 
influence, the Duke of Gordon signified to the Presbytery " his 
inclination" to have Mr Macleod settled as minister of Laggan. As 
regards Mr Macpherson the choice of the people there was some 
difficulty, inasmuch as he had fallen under suspicion of being 
concerned in " the late unnatural rebellion." After due enquiry, 
however, " the Presbytery unanimously agreed to reject the call to 
Mr Neil Macleod, in respect it was signed only by four, two of 
whom were reputed Papists, and to sustain the call to Mr Duncan 
Macpherson, as being signed by a great many heads of families, 
together with the elders of the parish." Mr Macpherson was 
accordingly duly admitted to the charge. Mr Macleod, it would 
appear, had been officiating within the bounds of the Presbytery ; 
but shortly before the termination of the Laggan case the follow- 
ing minute occurs in the Presbytery records : "A letter from the 
Committee (Royal Bounty) was read, signifying their disapproval 
of employing Mr Neil Macleod as itinerant of Kilmonivaig and 
Laggan, and to approve of Mr Kenneth Bethune being continued 
at Laggan." " Subsequently," adds Mr Sinton, " Mr Martin 
Macpherson was appointed, and so ended Mr Macleod's relations 
with the parish of Laggan and the Presbytery of Abertarff, which 
were apparently the north side of friendly. One can scarcely 
suppose that the Duke of Gordon was very ardently in his favour ; 

15 



226 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

and, considering the condition of Brae-Badenoch at the time, and 
the pronounced politi3al opinions of Mr Macleod, it is likely that 
he was regarded by the people as being a sort of Government spy 
in their midst." 

Mr Mackenzie died Father of the Church, on 27th April, 1745, 
in the 59th year of his ministry. 

9. DUNCAN MACPHERSON, A.M. 

1747-1757. 

Graduated at the University and King's College, Aberdeen, 1st 
April, 1731. Licenced in 1742. Ordained by the Presbytery of 
Abertarff 23rd June, 1743, as Missionary at Glenroy, &c. Trans- 
ferred to Mull in October, 1744. Called to Laggan, 2nd June, 
and admitted 16th September, 1747. Familiarly known by the 
cognomen of the Ministeir J/3r, and distinguished for his herculean 
strength, as well as for his powers of mind. For some par- 
ticulars regarding him I have to express my obligations to the 
Rev. Mr Maclennan, the present minister, and to Mr Angus Mac- 
kintosh, the worthy ex-schoolmaster of Laggan. 

The old Kirk Session records of Laggan having been accidentally 
burnt, the particulars I have been able to obtain regarding 
many of the earlier ministers of that parish are very scanty. 
There is one, however, Duncan Macpherson (the Ministeir Mor), 
who was well known to the grandfathers of the present generation. 
Whether the Reformers worshipped in St Kenneth at Camus 
Killin is uncertain. At anyrate, one of the first Protestant 
churches was that at the Eilean Dhu, near Blargy. The church 
was of very rude construction, and thatched with heather. 
The remains are still to be seen. Mr Macpherson had his 
residence at Dalchully, and, in order to get to the church, had to 
cross the Spey on horseback, there being no bridges. Sunday was 
generally observed both as a holy day and a holiday. For hours 
before public worship began, the young men of the parish met and 
played shinty until the arrival of the clergyman, who, nolens 
volens, was compelled to join the players ; otherwise he was given 
clearly to understand that he would have to preach to empty 
benches. So, after a hail or two, shinties were thrown aside, and 
a large congregation met to hear the new doctrine. The sermon 
was short, but pithy, and people began to think there was some- 
thing in the new doctrine after all. Immediately after services 
were over, shinty was resumed, and carried on at intervals till 
darkness put an end to their amusements, when many retired to 
the neighbouring crofts and public-houses, where high revelry was 
kept up till morning. 



Sketches of the Old Ministers of Badenoch. 227 

Frequently the river was unfordable, and on such occasions the 
Ministeir Mor was obliged to preach from a knoll on one side, 
while one-half of the congregation stood on the other. A difficulty 
arose in connection with the proclamation of marriage banns, 
and the minister, when not very certain as to the financial status 
of the ardent swain, would, in stentorian tones, cry out " Ma 
chuireas tusa nail an t-airgiod, cuiridh mise null am focal" a 
request that was immediately responded to through the medium 
of a piece of cloth in which the fee was carefully wrapped up, and 
flung across the river. It is also related that in the case of 
baptisms by the Ministeir Mor when the Spey was similarly in 
flood, the infant would be taken to the brink of the one side of 
the river, while the minister, standing % on the brink of the other 
side, would, with his powerful arm, throw the water across with 
such unerring aim as to descend, in showers on the face of the 
child, and thus, with the appropriate words uttered in tones 
sufficiently loud to be heard a long way off, administer the rite of 
baptism. 

The universal application of the scriptural maxim that " the 
race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong" was, alas ! 
strikingly exemplified in the case of the Minister Mor, the 
worthy man, strong and vigorous though he was, having been 
cut off on 13th August, 1757, at the comparatively early age of 46. 

10. ANDREW GALLIE, A.M. 

1758-1774. 

Native of the parish of Tarbat. Graduated at Aberdeen, 3rd 
April, 1750. Licenced by the Presbytery of Tain in 1753. 
Ordained in 1756 as missionary at Fort- Augustus. Presented to 
Laggan by Alexander Duke of Gordon, and admitted 6th 
September, 1758. Mr Gallie was well-known in connection with 
the Ossianic controversy. As having reference to visits paid by 
James Macpherson, the translator, to the Manse at Laggan during 
Mr Gallie's incumbency, let me give a few interesting extracts 
from the evidence given by the latter on the subject : 

" When he (Macpherson) returned from his tour through the 
Western Highlands and Islands he came to my house in Brae- 
Badenoch. I enquired the success of his journey, and he pro- 
duced several volumes, small octavo, or rather large duodecimo, in 
the Gaelic language and characters, being the poems of Ossian and 
other ancient bards. 

" I remember perfectly that many of those volumes w r ere, at 
the close, said to have been collected by Paul Macmhuirich, Bard 



228 Gaelic Society of /rwerness. 

Chlanraonuil, and about the beginning of the fourteenth century 
Mr Macpherson and I were of opinion that, though the bard col- 
lected them, yet they must have been writ by an ecclesiastic, for 
the characters and spelling were most beautiful and correct. 
Every poem had its first letter of its first word most elegantly 
nourished and gilded ; some red, some yellow, some blue, and 
some green ; the material writ on seemed to be a limber, yet 
coarse and dark vellum ; the volumes were bound in strong parch- 
ment ; Mr Macpherson had them from Clanranald. 

" At that time I could read the Gaelic characters, though with 
difficulty, and did often amuse myself with reading here and there 
in those poems while Mr Macpherson was employed on his trans- 
lation. At times we differed as to the meaning of certain words in 
the original. 

" I remember Mr Macpherson, when reading the MSS. found 
in Clanranald's, execrating the bard who dictated to the 

amanuensis, saying, ' D n the scoundrel ; it is he himself that 

now speaks, and not Ossian.' This took place in my house in two 
or three instances. I thence conjecture that the MSS. were kept 
up, lest they should fall under the view of such as would be more 
ready to publish their deformities than to point out their beauties. 

" It was, and I believe still is, well known that the ancient 
poems of Ossian, handed down from one generation to another, got 
corrupted. In the state of the Highlands and its language, this 
evil, I apprehend, could not be avoided ; and I think great credit 
is due, in such a case, to him who restores a work of merit to its 
original purity." 

Mr Gallic was translated to Kincardine, in Ross-shire, on 18th 
August, 1774. 

11. JAMES GRANT. 
1775-1801. 

Appointed by the Committee of the Royal Bounty, 21st August, 
1769, as missionary at Fort- Augustus. Presented to Laggan by 
Alexander Duke of Gordon, and admitted 21st September, 1775. 
Was married on 29th May, 1779, to Anne, only daughter of 
Lieutenant Duncan Macvicar, Barrack-Master at Fort-George, 
afterwards so well known as the amiable and accomplished Mrs 
Grant of Laggan, the authoress of " Letters from the Mountains," 
" Essays on the superstitions of the Highlanders," and other 
literary works. 

Mr Grant got the Church of Laggan rebuilt in 1785. In 1794 
he was appointed Chaplain of Lord Lynedoch's Regiment of Perth- 
<sh,i'e Volunteers, the 90th Foot. Of refined and cultivated tastes,, 



Sketches of the Old Ministers of Badenoch. 229 

and gentle and amiable in manner, Mr Grant was greatly revered 
and beloved by the people of Laggan. Died suddenly on 2nd 
December, 1801, in the 60th year of his age his remains being 
interred in the Churchyard of Laggan beside those of his mother 
" venerable for the fervour of her piety, and the sanctity of her 
life, and beloved for the endearing qualities of a tender and affec- 
tionate heart, and a liberal and beneficent spirit." 

Here are some very touching and beautiful glimpses of Mr 
Grant, given by his gifted and devoted 'wife in a letter written 
from the Manse of Laggan, of date 1st January, 1802, shortly 
after his death : 

" You wish to know how 1 bear the sudden shock of this 
calamity. I bore it wonderfully, considering how much I had to 
lose. Still, at times, the Divine goodness supports me in a 
manner I scarcely dared to hope. Happily for me, anxiety for a 
numerous orphan family, and the wounding smiles of an infant, 
too dear to be neglected, and too young to know what he has 
lost, divide my sorrows, and do not suffer my mind to be wholly 
engrossed by this dreadful privation this chasm that I shudder 
to look into. A daughter, of all daughters the most dutiful and 
affectionate, in whom her father still lives (so truly does she 
inherit his virtues and all the amiable peculiarities of his 
character) this daughter is wasting away with secret sorrow, 
while ' in smiles she hides her grief to soften mine.' I was too 
much a veteran in affliction, and too sensible of the arduous task 
devolved upuii me, to sit down in unavailing sorrow, overwhelmed 
by an event which ought to call forth double exertion. None, 
indeed, was ever at greater pains to console another than I was to 
muster up every motive for action, every argument for patient 
suffering. No one could say to me, 'the loss is common 
common be the pain ;' few, very few indeed, had so much happi- 
ness to lose. To depict a character so very uncommon, so little 
obvious to common observers, who loved and revered without 
comprehending him, would be difficult for a steadier hand 'than 
mine. With a kind of mild disdain and philosophic tranquility, 
he kept aloof from a world, for which the delicacy of his feelings, 
the purity of his integrity, and the intuitive discernment with 
which he saw into character, in a manner disqualified him that 
is, from enjoying it. For who can enjoy the world without 
deceiving or being deceived 1 But recollections crowd on me, and 
I wander. I say, to be all the world to this superior mind, to con- 
stitute his happiness for twenty years, now vanished like a vision ; 
to have lived with unabated affection together even this long, 



230 Gaelic Society of /nuerness. 

when a constitution, delicate as his mind, made it unlikely that 
even thus long we should support each other through the paths of 
life, affords cause for much gratitude. What are difficulties when 
shared with one whose delighted approbation gives one spirits to 
surmount them? Then to hear from every mouth his modest, 
unobtrusive merit receive its due tribute of applause ; to see him 
still in his dear children, now doubly dear ; and to know that such 
a mind cannot perish, cannot suffer nay, through the infinite 
merits of that Redeemer, in whom he trusted, enjoys what we 
cannot conceive ! Dear Miss Dunbar, believe me I would not 
give my tremulous hopes and pleasing sad retrospections for any 
other person's happiness. Forgive this ; it is like the overflowing 
of the heart to an intimate friend ; but your pity opens every 
source of anguish and of tenderness." 

Removing to Edinburgh a few years after the death of her 
husband, whom she survived for the long period of 37 years, Mrs 
Grant continued to live in that city for nearly 30 years, namely, 
from 1810 until her death in 1838. "During this lengthened 
period, Mrs Grant mixed extensively in the literary and other 
circles of Edinburgh, where her house was the resort of many 
eminent characters, both of her own and foreign countries. She 
continued all this time to maintain an extensive correspondence 
with her friends in England, Scotland, and America, and her 
letters, as may be supposed, contained many sketches of the 
literary and other society of the Scottish Capital, and of the varied 
characters with whom she was brought into contact, as well as 
notices of the literature and general topics of the day." 

Mrs Grant's life, for some years after she gave up' writing for 
the public, had been in part devoted to an intellectual employ- 
ment of another kind the superintendence of the education of a 
succession of young persons of her own sex, who were sent to 
reside with her. From the year 1826, also, her means had been 
further increased by a pension of 100, which was granted to her 
by George IV., on a representation drawn up by Sir Walter Scott, 
and supported by Henry Mackenzie, Lord Jeffrey, and other dis- 
tinguished persons among her friends in Edinburgh. In that 
representation they declared their belief that Mrs Grant had 
rendered eminent services to the cause of religion, morality, know- 
ledge, and taste, and that her writings had " produced a strong and 
salutary effect upon her countrymen, who not only found recorded 
in them much of national history and antiquities which would 
otherwise have been forgotten, but found them combined with the 
soundest and best lessons of virtue and morality." 



Sketches of the Old Ministers of Badenoch. 231 

Of the five sons and seven daughters of Mrs Grant's marriage, 
four died in early life before their father ; and, with the exception 
of John Peter, for many years a Writer to the Signet in Edinburgh, 
who edited her correspondence and the memoir of her lite, pub- 
lished in 1845, all predeceased their venerated and famous mother. 
The following is the inscription on the tombstone erected to her 
memory, beside that of her husband, in the Churchyard of 
Laggan : 

" Sacred to the Memory of Mrs Anne Grant, Widow of the Rev. 
James Grant, Minister of this Parish, who died in Edinburgh, 7th 
November, 1838, aged 83. Her writings illustrate the associa- 
tions and scenes of her eventful life. Her eminent virtues adorned 
its relations. Her Christian faith and fortitude sustained its 
many severe afflictions in humble submission to the will of God. 
Her numerous family of twelve children, for whom she made most 
meritorious and successful exertions, was, by the will of a mysteri- 
ous Providence, all cut off before herself, except him who now 
records this memorial of his love and veneration. 

" Her mortal remains are interred in the burying-ground of 
Saint Cuthbert's Parish, Edinburgh." 

12. JOHN MATHESON. A.M. 

1802-1808. 

Native of Ross-shire. Obtained his degree at the University and 
King's College, Aberdeen, in 1778. Licenced by the Presbytery 
of Dornoch, 29th March, 1785. Became Missionary at Badenoch 
and Lochaber, 19th September, 1791. Ordained by the Presbytery 
of Forres, 3rd April, 1792, as assistant to the Rev. Alexander 
Watt of Forres. On Mr Watt's death, Mr Matheson returned to 
his old Mission in Badenoch. Presented to Laggan by Alexander 
Duke of Gordon, and admitted llth August, 1802. Died 1st 
December, 1808, in the 49th year of his age and 17th of his 
ministry. 

13. DUNCAN M'INTYRE, A.M. 

1809-1816. 

Native of Fort-William. Graduated at Aberdeen in 1779. 
Licenced by the Presbytery of Abertarff, 25th November, 1783. 
Ordained by them as Missionary at Fort-William, 13th July, 1784. 
Became subsequently Missionary at Kilmuir, in Skye, then at 
Laggan and Glenurchy, and thereafter at Glencoe. On the 
nomination of the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge, 
he afterwards resumed the charge of the Mission of that Society at 
Fort-William. Presented to Laggan by Alexander Duke of Gordon 
in March, and admitted 7th September, 1809. 



232 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Kilmallie appears to have been regarded by Mr M'liityre as a 
perfect paradise compared to Laggan. Having received a call to 
Kilmallie, the reasons for his translation submitted by himself to 
the Presbytery of Abertarff are so candid and amusing as to be 
worth quoting. Here they are : 

" (1). Because your petitioner has a large young family, as yet 
uneducated, and because that in his present parish the proper 
Seminaries of Education are not nearer to him than Perth or 
Inverness ; and because the Living of Laggan is inadequate to the 
expenses that unavoidably would attend their being sent to either 
of these places ; whereas at Kilmallie education falls more within 
his reach and ability. 

" (2). Because the climate of Laggan is so severe as in general 
to render the crop most unproductive, and is commonly attended 
of course with most serious loss ; whereas the climate of Kilmallie 
is warm, kindly, and favourable to the rearing of crops, as well as 
most congenial to his own and his family's constitutions, they 
being natives of the Parish. 

" (3). Because that Laggan is at the distance of fifty miles 
from any market town where he can be supplied with the neces- 
saries of life ; whereas at Kilmallie he can get whatever he 
requires for the use of his family and for the improvement of the 
Glebe by sea to the very door. 

"(4). Because that the Living of Kilmallie, including the 
Glebe, is much better than that of Laggan. 

" (5). Because that the feeling of amor patrice binds him more 
to Kilmallie than to any other parish. 

" For the above stated reasons, and others to be stated by your 
petitioner viva voce at your bar, 

" He humbly trusts and earnestly entreats that the Rev. 
Presbytery of Abertarff will be pleased to grant him an Act of 
Translation, and your petitioner, as in duty bound, will ever pray, 
etc., etc." 

Notwithstanding the vastly superior attractions of Kilmallie, 
in the estimation of Mr M'Intyre, I question very much whether 
the present estimable Minister of Laggan would readily exchange 
that Parish for that of Kilmallie. Apparently, however. Mr 
M'Intyre's reasons proved so irresistible to his Presbytery 
that they agreed to his translation to Kilmallie nem. con., 
and he was accordingly inducted as Minister of that Parish on 
26th March, 1816. 



Sketches of the Old Ministers of Badenoch. 233 

14. WILLIAM ROBERTSON, A.M. 

1816-1818. 

Licenced by the Presbytery of Edinburgh, 28th July, 1810. 
Ordained by the Presbytery of Abertarff as Missionary at Fort- 
William on 1st April, 1812. Presented to Laggan by Alexander 
Duke of Gordon in July, and admitted 3rd September, 1816. 
Was a brother of John Robertson, the famous Minister of the 
neighbouring Parish of Kingussie from 1810 to 1825. Appointed 
a Justice of the Peace for the County of Inverness in 1818. 
Translated to Kinloss, 19th June, same year. 

15. GEORGE SHEPHERD, A.M. 

1818-1825. 

Native of Rathven. Graduated at Aberdeen in 1812. For some" 
time Schoolmaster at Kingussie. Licenced by the Presbytery 
of Abernethy, 16th July, 1816. Ordained by the Presytery of 
Abertarff as Missionary at Fort William, 2nd September, 1817. 
Presented by Alexander Duke of Gordon, 26th September, and 
admitted as Minister of Laggan, 16th November, 1818. Translated 
to Kingussie and Insh, llth May, 1825. 

16. MACKINTOSH MACKAY, LL.D. 

1825-1832. 

For sometime Schoolmaster at Portree. Licenced by the Presbytery 
of Skye. Presented by Alexander Duke of Gordon, 27th July, 
and ordained as Minister of Laggan, 27th September, 1825. Was 
the seventh Minister presented to Laggan by Duke Alexander 
during the long period of seventy-five years that nobleman enjojed 
the family honours, namely, from 1752 down to his death in 1827. 
Degree of LL.D. conferred upon Mr Mackay by the University 
of Glasgow in 1829. Appointed a Justice of the Peace for the 
County of Inverness, 13th May, 1831. Translated to Dunoon 
and Kilmun, 27th March, 1832. Joined the Secession of 1843. 
Elected Moderator of the Free General Assembly, 24th May, 1849. 
Sailed for Australia in 1853. Admitted as Minister of the Gaelic 
Church of Melbourne in 1854. Also to a congregation at Sydney 
in 1856. Returned to Scotland in 1861. Admitted as Minister 
of the Free Church, Tarbat, Harris, in 1862. Died 17th May, 1873, 
in the 80th year of his age. 

Dr Mackay was one of the foremost Gaelic scholars of his day. 
In connection with the excellent Gaelic Dictionary published by 
the Highland Society, the following note indicates the importance 
attached to the aid rendered by him in its preparation : 

" In its progress through the press it has been superintended 
and corrected by the Rev. Mackintosh Mackay, now Minister of 



234 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Laggan, and it is only just to add that in its present form the 
Gaelic Dictionary is much indebted to his indefatigable labours, 
and his philological acuteness and learning have greatly contributed 
to render it more accurate and complete." 

17. DONALD CAMERON. 

1832-1846. 

Appointed Schoolmaster at Southend in 1815. Admonished by 
the Presbytery, 28th June, 1816, ''for cruelty to his scholars, 
being censorious and backbiting, and declared to be ill-qualified to 
be useful." Licenced by the Presbytery of Kin tyre, 13th 
December, 1820. Ordained by the Presbytery of Kincardine 
O'Neill, 21st March, 1824, as Missionary at Glengairn. Presented 
by the Trustees of Alexander Duke of Gordon in May, and 
admitted as Minister of Laggan, 1st August, 1832. Is said to 
have been possessed of some sterling qualities, but apparently he 
was of a most combative disposition. So little sympathy does he 
appear to have had with the manly pastimes of the Laggan 
people that he strongly objected to any members of the Kirk- 
Session patronising shinty matches, and the Session Records of 
the time show that he even frowned upon any of their number 
appearing at Meetings of the Session in the kilt ! 

Unfortunately no Session Records of Laggan now exist earlier 
than 1827. Here is an extract from a Minute of the Session, 
during Mr Cameron's incumbency, dealing with a profanation of 
the Sabbath quite prevalent in Badenoch down to within living 
memory : 

" Compeared in terms of citation Balmishaig 

accused of profaning the Lord's Day by proclaiming a Roup at the 
Churchyard gate on Sabbath last, the 30th ult. The said 
being interrogated as to his guilt, acknowledges 
that he did publicly give intimation of said Roup, and expresses 
his regret for such violation of the Sabbath, and gives in his letter 
expression of the same that it may be read in face of the Congrega- 
tion next Lord's Day immediately after Divine Service." 

Mr Cameron died 19th April, 1846, in the 54th year of his 
age, and 23rd of his ministry. 

18. WILLIAM SUTHERLAND. 

1846-1850. 

Translated from Harris. Presented by the Duke of Richmond 
and Lennox, and admitted as minister of Laggan 24th September, 
1846. Was an amiable, genial, and popular minister. Translated 
to Dingwall, 17th October, 1850. 



Sketches of the Old Ministers of Badenoch. 235 

19. JOHN MACLEOD. 
1851-1869. 

Translated from Ballachulish and Corran of Ardgour. Presented 
to Laggan by the Duke of Richmond and Lennox, and admitted 
30th January, 1851. A faithful and most estimable clergyman, 
universally esteemed throughout the district. In quiet, unassum- 
ing, practical usefulness was the beau ideal of a parish minister. 
Died at Laggan, 8th April, 1869, in the 63rd year of his age. 
One of his sons is the well-known Dr Donald Macleod, the genial and 
popular minister of the Scotch National Church in London. 

20. DONALD MACFADYEN. 

1869-1880. 

Translated from Ardnamurchan. Presented by the Duke of Rich- 
mond and Lennox, and inducted as minister of Laggan, 22nd 
September, 1869. An excellent preacher, both in Gaelic and 
English, and a genuine Highlander to the very core, with a most 
marked personality. Apt though he was, at times, to be carried 
away by the Celtic warmth and impetuosity of his feelings, and 
with what, on the surface, appeared a somewhat unattractive 
manner, no more devoted, kind-hearted minister than Mr Macfad- 
yen ever, I believe, filled the pulpit of Laggan. Was a capital 
story-teller of which he was himself frequently the hero and 
had a keen sense of the humorous, as well as of the tender and 
pathetic, side of the Highland character. Mr Macfadyen died 1st 
November, 1880. In testimony of their deep and affectionate 
regard, his Congregation, soon after his death, erected a handsome 
granite monument to his memory in the Churchyard of Laggan, 
with the following Gaelic inscription : 

" Mar chuinhneachan air Mr Domhnull Macphaidein, ministeir 
Lagain, a chaochail air a cheud latha de'n Gheamhradh, 1880. 

" Duine a choisinn meas 'san eaglais agus urram 'na dhuthaich. 
Chuir a chomhthional an carragh so aig a cheann." 

Let me give a few extracts from the just and eloquent tribute 
paid to his memory soon after his death by his old fellow-student, 
Dr Mackenzie, of Kingussie : 

" Your minister was one of my oldest friends. Long before we 
were neighbours, we were fellow -students, thrown very closely 
together, so that I knew him well. He was a brave fellow a 
true man a real Christian. These features of his character were 
marked at College ; they continued in a more subdued form to the 
close of life. When a lad at the University he showed a manly 
independent spirit. He worked his own way. While attending 



236 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

the classes he earned his maintenance by extra labour maintain- 
ing a sturdy independence. Amongst his fellow-students he was 
looked upon as a type of the true Highlander, fearless in his 
expression of opinion seeking a fair field and no favour. 

" He earned distinction in his classes, and gained a valuable 
money prize for an essay on a philosophical subject. . . . He 
resolved at an early period to study for the Church of Scotland. 
He did so at a time when to do this in the Highlands entailed 
from many ill will and reproach. When a schoolmaster in lloss- 
shire, his sister was not allowed to take water from a public well, 
because her brother was a Moderate, and he himself was shunned 
as an outcast. He boldly faced the trials of that time, and it was 
a cause of rejoicing to him that he lived to see in the North a 
wider toleration prevail, and old enmities and feuds laid to rest, 
by the growth of a kinder and more Christian spirit. . . . 

" His career in the Ministry was not a very prosperous one 
measured by the world's standard. He was called to no eminent 
charge. His words were* not chronicled in newspapers. No 
crowded congregation hung on his lips. He was a simple Parish 
Minister trying to do his Master's will, and feeling honoured by 
the position to which his Master had called him. 

' k Beginning his Ministry at Aucharacle in Argyleshire, he was, 
after four years, translated to the Parish of Ardnamurchan that 
immense parish which stretches along the western sea-board for 
miles. There he laboured cheerfully and successfully among a 
kind and devoted people for nine years. It was a parish that, 
which to work thoroughly, entailed immense bodily fatigue ; 
distances were great, but by boat or on horseback, the faithful 
Pastor found his way to the most outlying districts. He loved 
Ardnamurchan and the sea, and would never, I believe, have left 
it if he had not been compelled to do so from the state of his health. 

" Most of you remember his coming to Laggan at the unanimous 
request of the Congregation then worshipping in the Church, and 
all of you know what his ministry here has been. He had his 
faults, but how few they were compared with his virtues. His 
impetuosity, which was the side of his character on which perhaps 
he tended to err, was prompted always by a thorough conviction 
that he was in the right. He was a pure-minded simple-hearted 
man, with the guilelessness of a child. I never knew one more 
guileless and free from double dealing. He was intensely single- 
minded, and absolutely disinterested in all his dealings. You 
never could mistake him. As he was at College, so he continued 
to the last a true Highlander fall of Celtic fire, fond of his 



Sketches of the Old Ministers of Badenoch. 237 

kindred, of his country, of its language, of its mountains, brave 
and full to the brim of courage. I don't think he knew what 

fear was 

" His character was tried at the last as the character of few is 
tried. With the sentence of death hanging over him for weeks, 
with pain unceasing and no hope of recovery, his faith never 
wavered. He looked the last enemy in the face with an unquiver- 
ing eye. For him, resting on his Saviour, with the everlasting 
arms around him, death had no terror. He told me that he was 
full of thankfulness to God for his goodness to him throughout his 
life, and especially for continuing his faculties to him to the end. 
If he had sorrow, it was for those he was leaving, not for himself. 
" Be kind to my Mcther," were almost his last words as he bade 
farewell to his aged parent, who had, indeed, been a true mother 
to him. His death-bed was a peaceful scene. Kind friends and 
parishioners of all denominations were unceasing in their attention 
and inquiries. His colleague in the Parish the Minister of the 
Free Church stood more than once at his bedside, and prayed 
fervently with him and the sad household. May he, when his- 
time comes, not want a man of God to render to him the same 
holy and blessed ministry he rendered to your Pastor. So your 
Minister my friend of many years passed to his rest in God. 
The grass on his grave in Laggan Churchyard will soon grow green, 
and other interests will cause him to pass out of mind no one can 
be long remembered on earth. But to-day his memory is warm 

among you Unselfish, true-hearted, brave-spirited 

Christian soul ! We sorrow that thou art gone from us most of 
all, that we shall see thy face on earth no more. But we sorrow 
not without a sure hope of meeting thee again in the land of 
peace and joy." 

21. DUNCAN SHAW MACLENNAN. 
1881 

The present Incumbent. Translated from Kilcolmonell and 
Kiberry. Called by the congregation, and admitted as Minister 
of Laggan, 8th July, 1881. A faithful, upright, and devoted 
Minister, Mr Maclennan has won the esteem and good-will of all 
classes of the community. Taking a warm and sincere interest in 
the welfare of the people of Laggan, he has proved a judicious and 
prudent counsellor, as well as a most reliable and true-hearted 
friend. 

Soon after the Secession of 1843, the Free Church of Laggan 
were fortunate in securing the services of the Rev. Dugald 



238 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Shaw, who for a period, now extending to nearly half a century, 
lias ministered with great acceptance to that Congregation. 
While ever earnest and active during his long ministry in pro- 
moting the life and work of the Congregation committed to his 
care, Mr Shaw's sermons and prayers have been characterised by 
a,n unction, delightful quaintness of expression, and personal 
directness of application, peculiarly his own. The Free Church of 
Laggan having been unfortunately burnt down some years ago, 
the present comfortable and handsome edifice was erected on the 
same site ; and mainly through the unwearied efforts and persua- 
sive appeals of Mr Shaw, is now entirely free from debt. Although 
he has already attained such an advanced age, it is, I am sure, the 
sincere wish of the whole body of the Parishioners that he may be 
spared for many years to come, and long be able in health and 
strength to go out and in among the members of his attached 
Congregation. Mr Sha\\'s only daughter is married to the Rev. 
Murdo Mackenzie, the worthy and popular successor of the late 
venerated Rev. Dr Mackay, in the ministry of the Free North 
Church of Inverness. 

" If men were free to take, and wise to use 

The fortunes richly strewn by kindly chance, 
Then kings and mighty potentates might choose 

To live and die lords of a Highland manse. 
For why 1 Though that which spurs the forward mind 

Be wanting here, the high-perched glittering prize, 
The bliss that chiefly suits the human kind 

Within this bounded compass largely lies 
The healthful change of labour and of ease, 

The sober inspiration to do good, 
The green seclusion, and the stirring breeze, 

The working hand leagued with a thoughtful mood ; 
These things, undreamt by feverish-striving men, 
The wise priest knows who rules a Highland glen." 



17th APRIL, 1889. 

Mr D. Munro Fraser, II. M. Inspector of Schools, Glasgow, was 
elected a member of the Society at this meeting. Thereafter Mr 
Colin Chisholm read a paper entitled " A Collection of Unpublished 
Gaelic Songs, with Notes." Mr Chisholm's paper is as follows : 



A Collection of Unpublished Gaelic Songs. 239 

A COLLECTION OF UNPUBLISHED GAELIC SONGS, 
WITH NOTES. 

The following memento, or " cuimhneachan," was written by 
the Rev. Ranald Rankin, C.C., and given by him to the children 
of his congregation at Moidart, when he was parting with them 
for Australia, in 1855. I have heard several verses of his com- 
position, the most humorous of these I remember is his " Address 
to the Railway Rngine," which was included in a former paper that 
I read before this Society (see Vol. XII., p. 153. The Rev. 
Ranald Rankin (W.D.), Australia, died in 1863, aged 64. 

TALADH AR SLANUIGHIR. 
Air fonn " Cumha Mhic Arois." 

Aleluiah, Aleluiah, Aleluiah, Aleluiah. 
Mo ghaol, mo ghradh, a's m' fheudail thu, 
M' ion'ntas ur a 's HI' eibhneas thu, 
Mo mhacan aluinn ceutach thu, 
Cha 'n fhiu mi fein bhi 'd dhail. 
Aleluiah, &c. 

Ge 'm6r an t-aobhar cliu dhomh e, 
'S m6r an t-aobhar curaim e, 
'S rnor an t-aobhar umhlachd e, 
Righ nan did 'bhi 'm laimh. 

Ge d' is leanamh diblidh thu, 
Cinnteach 's Righ nan Righreaii thu, 
'S tu 'n t-oighre dligheach, firinneach 
Air Rioghachd Dhe nan gras. 

Ge d' is Righ na glorach thu 
Dhiult iad an tigh-osda dhuit, 
Ach chualas ainglean solasach 
Toirt gloir do'n Ti is aird. 

Bu mhor solas agus ioghnadh 
Buachaillean bochda nan caorach, 
'Nuair chual iad na h-ainglean a' glaodhaich, 
" Thainig Slanui'ear tliun an t-saoghail." 

B' e sin an ceol, 's an naigheachd aghmhor 
'Sheinn na h-ainglean aims na h-ardaibh, 
Ag innseadh gu'n d' rugadh Slanui'ear 
Am Betlehem, am baile Dhaibhidh. 



240 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

B' e sin sgeula binn nam beannachd, 
Mu'n aoidh a rinn tearnadh gu talamh, 
Cha'n ioghnadh mi 'bhi muirneach, geanail. 
Is gile na ghrian mo leanamh. 

Dh' fhoillsich reulta dha na righrean, 
Lean iad i mar iuil gu dileas, 
Fhuair iad 'n am achlais fhein thu, 
Is rinn iad umhlachd dhuit gu lar. 

Thairg iad or dhuit, mirr a's tuis, 
Thug iad aoradh dhuit a's cliu, 
B' e turas an aigh do 'n triuir, 
'Thainig a shealltuinn mo ruin. 

'0 na dh' innis aingeal De dhuinn 
Gu'n robh 'n fhoill an cridhe Heroid, 
Dh' fhalbh sinne leat do'n Eiphit 
G' a sheachnadh mu'n deanta beud ort. 

! 'Heroid a chridhe chruaidh, 
Cha choisinn t'imleachd dhuit buaidh, 
'S lionar mathair dh'fhag thu truagh, 
'S tu dian an toir air bas mo luaidh. 

'S fhada, fhada, bho ludea, 
Tearuinte bho d' chlaidheamh geur e, 
'Measg nam mac cha d'fhuair thu fein e, 
'S fallain, slan thu, 's fath dhomh eibhneas. 

Dh' aindeoin do mhi-rinn a 's t'fharmaid, 
Bidh mo mhac-sa cliuiteach, ainmeil, 
Cha chair e uigh an or n'an airgiod, 
A rioghachd cha rioghachd thalmhaidh. 

Gur galach, brbnach, tursach iad 
An drast ami an lerusalem, 
A' caoidh nam macan lira sin, 
'S b' e 'n diubhail 'n cur gu bas. 

Tha Rachel an diugh fo bhr6n, 
A' caoidh a paisdean aluinn, 6g, 
'S frasach air a gruaidh na deoir 
Bho nach 'eil iad aice beo. 



A Collection of Unpublished Gaelic Songs. 241 

Tha mi 'g altrum High na morachd, 
'S mise mathair Dhe na gloire 
Nach buidhc, nach sona dhomhsa, 
Tha mo chridhe Ian do sholas. 

Thainig, thainig am Messiah, 
Fhuair na faidhean uile 'n guidhe, 
'S fhada bho 'n b' aill leo thu thighinn, 
'S aluinn thu air mo ruighe. 

A ghnothach gu talamh cha b' f haoin e, 
Cheannach sabhaladh chloinn daoine, 
'S e 'm Fear-reite 's am Fear-saoraidh, 
Is e 'n Slanui'ear gradhach caomh e. 

Ciamar a dh' eirich dhomhsa 

'Measg an t-sluaigh a bhi cho sonruicht' ? 

'S e toil a's cumhachd na gloire 

Mac bhi agam ge d' is oigh mi. 

'S mise fhuair an ulaidh phriseil, 

Uiseil, uasal, luachmhor, fhinealt, 

'N diugh cha dual dhomh bhi fo mhighean, 

'S coltach ri bruadar an fhirinn. 

Cha tuig ainglean naomh no daoine 
,Gu la deireannach an t-saoghail 
Meud do throcair a's do ghaoil-sa, 
Tighinn a ghabhail column daonnta. 

Bheir mi moladh, bheir mi aoradh, 
Bheir mi cliu dhuit, bheir mi gaol dhuit, 
Tha thu agam air mo ghairdean, 
'S mi tha sona thar chloinn daoine. 

Mo ghaol an t-suil a sheallas tla, 
Mo ghaol an cridh 'tha liont 'le gradh, 
Ged is leanamh thu gun chail 
'S lionmhor buaidh tha ort a' fas. 

M' ulaidh, m' aighear, a's mo luaidh thu, 
Run, a's gaol, a's gradh an t-sluaigh thu ; 
'S tus' an Ti a bheir dhoibh fuasgladh 
Bho chuibhreach an namhaid uaibhrich. 

16 



242 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

'S tu Righ nan righ, 's tu naomh nan naomh, 

Dia am Mac thu 's siorruidh t'aois ; 

'S tu mo Dhia 's mo leanamh gaoil, 

'S tu ard cheann-feadhna 'chinne-daonn'. 

J S tusa grian gheal an dbchais, 
Chuireas dorchadas air f6gairt ; 
Bheir thu clann-daoin' bho staid bhronaich 
Gu naomhachd, soilleireachd, a's e61as. 

Thigeadh na sloigh chur ort failte 
Dheanadh umhlachd dhuit mar Shlanui'ear, 
Bidh solas m6r am measg siol Adhamh 
Thainig am Fear-saoraidh, thainig! 

Thig a pheacaich, na biodh sgath ort, 
Gheibh thu na dh' iarras tu 'ghrasan ; 
Ge d' bhiodh do chiontan dearg mar sgarlaid 
Bidh t'anam geal mar shneachd nan ard-bheann. 

Hosanah do Mhac Dhaibhidh, 

Mo Righ, mo Thighearna, 's mo Shlanui'ear, 

'S m6r mo sholas bhi ; ga d' thaladh, 

'S beannaichte am measg nam mnai mi. 

The following lament was composed by the late Captain 
Donald Chisholm, at Musselburgh, for his son Archibald Chisholm, 
who died in India : 

CUMHADH CHAPTAIN SHISEAIL DO MHAC, GILLEASBAIG SISEAL, 

A FHUAIR BAS ANNS NA H-lNNSEAN, DOL NA 19 A DH'AOIS. 

AIR FONN Och ! Ochain ! 's mi trom inntinneach, 
'S nach urrainn mi ga innseadh dhuibh. 

D'fhalbh mo Leanabh fada bhuam, 
Air a chuan 's na h-Innseannan, 
Och, Ochain, &c. 

Gur e bhas aig Serampore, 

A d' fhag fo 'bhron 's fo 'mhi-gheaii mi. 

Air mo chridhe rinn e crua'ach', 

Co chruaidh 's nach gluaiseadh ligh'chean e. 



A Collection of Unpublished Gaelic Songs. 243 

Ach an t-Athair, a b'fhearr coir air, 
Cum mo bhron gun mhi-mhodh dhuit, 

Gabh mo Leanabh fo' do churam, 
'n bha run 's inntinn dhuit. 

'S mor bha earbsa as do throcair, 
'S as gach gloir a dh'inn's thu dha. 

As trie a fhuair mi e ri nrnuidh, 
Air a ghluinibh diblidh dhuit. 

Bha barail mhath aige air each, 
Ach bha e ghnath ga dhiteadh fein. 

Cul-chainnt cha 'n eisdeadh a chluas, 
Ge b'e co bhuaithe thigeadh i. 

Bho bheul cha d' thaiiiig mi-stuaim, 
A chuireadh gruaim no mi-ghean orm. 

Gar an robh a sporan Ian, 

Bha chridhe tla do 'n dilleachdan. 

'S tha mi nise ann an doc has, 

% Gu'n seinn e gloir gu siorruidh dhuit. 

John Mackenzie, in his "Beauties of Gaelic Poetry," gives six 
verses of the following popular song. I give eight verses, as well 
as the name of the poet. It was Christopher Macrae. He was 
a schoolmaster in Kintail in the latter part of the last century. I 
have heard verses of other sweet songs he composed. To dis- 
tinguish him from his neighbours, he was called " Gillecriosd 
Uasal": 

FAILTE DHUT A'S SLAJNTE LEAT. 

Luinneag. 

Failte dhut a's slainte leat, 
Failte chuirinn a 's do dheigh ; 
Failte dhut a 's slainte leat, 
Failte chuirinn a 's do dheigh. 

'Se mo run an'Gael laghach, 
Gur tu a thaghainn 's cha b' e 'n Gall ; 
Ort a thig iia h-airm air thaghadh, 
Os ceann adharc chrios nam ball. 
Failte dhut, etc, 



244 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

Ach gur e mo ghaol an Crathach 
Oganach deas flathail treun, 
'S truagh nach robh mi 's tu fad seachdain,. 
Anns an stachd sam bi na feidh. 
Failte dhut, etc. 

Eadar Cluanaidh ghorm 's Braigh-choilich, 
'S trie a leag thu Ian damn croichd, 
Bhiodh do ghillean tighinn gu baile, 
Sithinn bhiatachd dhaibh mar choir. 
Failte dhut, etc. 

'S tu sealgair a's dirich amharc, 
'S geal an aingeal th'ann ad ghleus ; 
'S trie do luaidhe ghlas na siubhal, 
'S i gu fuilteach, guineach, geur. 
Failte dhut, etc. 

Bu tu namh'd a chapuill-choille, 
'S a blmic an doire nan stuc ; 
Marbhaich a bhric ris a choinneil, 
'S a choilich anns a choille dhluth. 
Failte dhut, etc. 

'S math thig siud dhut air do ghiulan, 
Flasg anns am bi fudar gorm, 
'S aithreach learn nach d'rinn mi 'cuis riut, 
Ged a bhiodh iad diumbach orm. 
Failt dhut, etc. 

Leat cha'n iarrainn se6mar cadail, 
No claraidh leap 'bhi ri m' thaobh ; 
B' annsa bhi le m' ghaol 's le m' aighear, 
'N aros nan aighean 's nan laogh. 
Failte dhut, etc. 

Fhir chaidh timicheall an rugha, 
Tha mi dubhach as do dheigh ; 
Gus am faic mi, ghaoil, thu rithisd, 
Gu'n robh gach slighe dhut reidh. 
Failte dhut, etc. 



A Collection of Unpublished Gaelic Songs. 245 

On a former occasion I read a paper before this Society in 
which I gave, from memory, nine verses of the following lament 
for Roderick Mackenzie, ninth Laird of Farbrainn. Through the 
kindness of a friend, I am now able to give eleven verses, 
probably the whole of the composition : 

CUMHA DO RUAIRIDH, FEAR FARBRAINN. 

Sgith mi ag amharc an droma 

Far bheil luchd nan cul donna fo bhron ; 

Ann am Farbrainn an tuir so, 

Far am bu shil teach an suilean le deoir; 

Lot an suilean dha 'n gearan, 

Bas Ruairidh, Mhic Alastair Oig ; 

Gum bu dhalta 'Righ Alb' thu, 

'S oighre dligheach air Farbrainn an coir. 

'S iomadh cridhe bha deurach, 

An am dhol fodha na greine Diluain, 

Aig a' chachaileidh 'n de so, 

'S an deach na h-eachaibh 's na seis as thoirt uaibh ; 

Shil air suilean do pheidse, 

Sud an acaid a leum orra cruaidh ; 

Ach 'sann ann a bha ghair bhochd 

Dha do thogail air ghairdean an t-sluaigh. 

Our a tursach am bannal, 

A th' anns an tur mheallach a thamh ; 

Tha do Bhaintighearn og, galach 

Bhean uasal, chiuin, fharasda, thli ! 

Tha do pheathraichean deurach ; 

Stric an cuailean gun reiteach an drast ; 

Mur h-eil Coinneach ri fhaodainn, 

Theid a' choinneal a threigsinn gun smal. 

Na'm bu daoine le 'n ardan 

A bhiodh coireach ri d' fhagail an cill, 

Mur a marbht' ann am blar thu, 

'Casgadh maslaidh as taire do 'n Righ, 

Cha'n 'eil duine no paisde 

A b'urrainn biodag a shathadh no sgiaii, 

Nach biodh nil' air do thoireachd, 

Eadar Cataobh 's Gaol R6nach nan ian. 



246 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Bho ; n a dh'fhagadh 's a chruids thu, 

'S beag ar n-aighear 's ar sunnt ris a cheol, 

Bu leat abhachd na duthcha, 

'Nuair a shuidheadh gach cuis mar bu ch6in 

Bu leat Conainn gu h-iasgach, 

Agus Monair gu fiadhach, a sheoid, 

Oidhche Challainn na 'm b' aill leat, 

Gheibhte bradan o'n Fhaineas gu d'bhord. 

'N am sgaoileadh nam macan, 

Gun robh uaisle a's ceartas a' fas, 

Cha bu chubaire gealtach, 

Ach curamach, smachdail, gun sgath, 

Ri am tional na tuatha 

Cha b' ann agartach cruaidh mu na mhal, 

Bhiodh na bochdaii ag eigheachd 

" Gun robh fortan mhic Dhe dhuit an dan." 

Dh' eireadh sud 's an Taobh-tuath leat, 
Mac-Coinnich, le shluagh air an ceann, 
Nail o Leoghas, na h-Earadh, 
Cinn-t-saile, Loch-Carunn, 's Loch-Aills' ; 
Bu leat armuinn na Comraich, 
Agus pairt dh' fhearaibh donn 'Innse-Gall, 
Mar sud a's siol 'Ille-Chaluim, 
'S iad a' dioladh na fola gu teann. 

But leat na Gordanaich rioghail, 

Luchd a chruadail gun mhi-chliu an camp r 

'S e sud an cinneadh nach striochdadh, 

Gus an cailleadh iad direach an ceann ; 

Clann-an-T6isich nam pios leat, 

Bha iad crosda 'nuair shineadh am fearg ; 

J S mur deachaidh fad air mo chuimhne 

Thigeadh brod Chlann-'ic-Aoidh leat a nail. 

Dh' eireadh sud mu do ghuaillibh, 

Na'n cluinnt' thu bhi 'n cruadal no '11 cas 

Clann Eachainn nan Roibnean, ^ 

'S cha bu ghealtach an toiseachadh blair ; 

Bhiodh da shlios Locha-Braon leat, 

'S ged bhitheadh cha b' ioghnadh learn e, 

Mar sud 's a Choigeach Chinn-Asainn, 

Dha do chomhnadh, fhir ghasda, 's an spairn. 



A Collection of Unpublished Gaelic Songs. 247 

Righ gur mis' tha fo mhulad, 

'S beag m' aighear 's mo shunnt ris a cheol ; 

'S mi gun duine m' an cuairt domh, 

His an gearain mi uair de mo bhrdn. 

Tha mo stuic air am maoladh, 

Gus an cinnich na maotharain 6g, 

Ma 's a toileach le Dia e, 

Na'm bu fad' ach an lion iad do chot'. 

'S tim dhomh sgur dheth mo mhulad - 

Mo chreach leir mi cha bhuidhnig e bonn, 

'S ann is fheudar dhomh sgur dheth ; 

Na d'dheigh theid gach duin' air an fhonn. 

Mar na coilltichean connaidh, 

Tha na saighdean a' pronnadh nan sonn ; 

Sgith mi dh' amharc an droma 

Far bheil luchd nan cul donna gu trom. 

The maker of this merr}^ song describes the charms, and 
mentions several admirers, of Betsy, the daughter of the host at 
Lub-ghargan : 

'S fheudar dhomh bhi beo 
Ged a robh thu 'm dhith, 
Cia mar gheibh mi smuairean 
A chumail dhiom. 

'S ann san Luib tha chaileag, 
Dha'n tug mi'n gaol falaich, 
Ma ni i mo mhealladh 
'S arrabanach mi. 
'S fheudai, etc. 

Betaidh, fhir na Luibe, 
'S mor a ghabh mi loinn dhi', 
M' aisling feadh na h-oidhche, 
Mu na mhaidean ghrinn. 
'S fheudar, etc. 

'S i mo ghaol an ainnir 
Dha 'n tig breid is anart, 
'S iomadh diuc is baran, 
D' fharraideas co i. 
'S fheudar, etc. 



248 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

'S i mo ghaol an steudag, 
'S deise theid na h-eideadh, 
Coimeas do 'n a ghrein 
'Nuair a dh' eireas i. 
'S fheudar, etc. 

Cha 'n urra mi aireamh, 
Na th'air thi' do thaladh, 
'S arm diubh Fearachar taillear, 
Murachadh Ban, 's mi fhiu. 
'S fheudar, etc. 

Tha fear eile an drasta 
'S e air ti do thaladh, 
Fleasgach de chlann Thearlaich 
'Sa chaoirich ard an glinn. 
'S fheudar, etc. 

'S ann diubh Donul Grigor, 
Giullan boidheach, sgiobalt, 
Posaidh e gun fhios i, 
Thuirt e sud rium fhin. 
'S fheudar, etc. 

Ged tha Donul boidheach, 
'S e cho binn ri smeorach, 
Ni thu mar 's coir dhuit 
Posaidh tu mi fhin. 
'S fheudar, etc. 

LAOIDH AN SPIORAID NAOIMH. 

O thig a nuas, a Spiorad Naoimh, 
A shealltainn anmannan do ghaoil, 
'Us lion ar cridh' le d' ghrasan caomh, 
A Chruthadair a' chinne-dhaoin'. 

'S tu ar Comhfhurtair 's gach cas, 
'S tu gibht' ro-naomh an De a's aird', 
'S tu 'm fuaran bed, an teine, 'n gradh 
'Us ungaid spioradail an aigh. 

Tha do thiodhlaicean seachd fillt', 
Miar deas-lamh Dhe thu 'thriath gach ni, 
'S tu gealladh 'n Athar naoimh le cinnt, 
Bhuat-sa thig deas-labhairt cinn. 



A Collection of Unpublished Gaelic Songs. 249 

las le d' sholus ar ceud- faith, 

'Us taom a nuas na 'r cridh' do ghradh, 

Cum ri 'r iiadur lag do larah, 

'Us thoir dhuinn neart, 'us feart, 'us call. 

Ar naimhdean fuadaich fada bhuainn, 

'Us builich oirnn do sbith gu buan, 

Bi ad iuil dhuinn fad ar cuairt, 

'S gu'n seachainn sinn gach beud 'us truaigh. 

Deonaich dhuinne eolas fior 

Air an Athair 'us air Criost', 

'S annad 'fhein 'tha bhuap' 'ad Dhia, 

Oreideamaid a nis 's gu sior. 

Gloir gu'n robh gu sior gun tamh, 
Do 'n Athair 'us do Mhac a ghraidh, 
A rinn an aiseirigh bho 'n bhas, 
'Us dhuts' a Chomhfhurtair nan gras. 

SEINNEAM LAOIDH DO CHORP CHRIOST. 

Theanga, seinn le caithrim che61-bhinn, 
Diomhaireachd Corp glormhor Chriost', 
Agus 'Fhala priseil, rn6rail, 
'N 'eiric chorr a dhiol ar fiach, 
Toradh cuim ro-naoimh na h-Oighe, 
'Dhoirt ard righ gach s!6igh gu fial. 

Dhuinne thugadh, dhuinne rugadh, 
Leis an Oigh nach d' fhuilig beud ; 
Bhos air talamh labhair 's thuinich, 
Sgaoil'us chuir e facal Dhe' ; 
'N dbigh 'na chrioch e cuairt a thurais, 
S' ionadh dhuinne 's do chuirt neamh. 

Aig an t-suipeir, oidhche 'a Phaise, 
Shuidh le 'bhraithrean sios gu biadh, 
'S choimhlion e an lagh gun fhaillinn, 
'S na deas-ghnathan 'dh' 6rdaich Dia ; 
'S thug e 'chorp 's e be6 na 'n lathair 
As a laimh do'n da fhear dhiag. 



250 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Le cumhachd 'fhacail naoimh tha Criosta 
Tionndadh arain fhior gu 'Fheoil, 
'Sa 'tionndadh fiona gu 'Fhuil dhiadhaidh- 
Ged nach tur sinn 'mhiorailt mh6r, 
Foghnaidh creideamh dhuinn mar fhiariis, 
Biodh an cridhe dian gun gho. 

'Shacramaid, tha sinn le umhlachd, 
'Toirt dhut aoraidh, elm, 'us gloir' ; 
Riochd an t-Seann-lagh chuireadh ciil ris, 
'San Lagh-ur tha'n fhir-bheachd chorr ; 
Ged nach tuigear le 'r ceud-fathan, 
Creideamh cha dian faillinn 6irnn. 

Gloir do'n Athair, 's gloir do'n Mhac, 
'S gloir co-cheart do'n Spiorad Naomh 
Cliu 'us aighir, onoir 's neart, 
Slainte 's beannachadh a chaoidh 
Trianaid chumhachdach nam feart, 
Molamaid mu sea.ch 's mar aon. Amen. 



UKUAIGH NA SACRAMAIDE. 

Deagh do bheatha Chuirp Chriosta, 

Deagh do bheatha High na 'm feartean, 

Deagh do bheatha fhuil is fheoil, 

Deagh do bheatha phor na'n gras, 

Deagh do bheatha Dhiadhachd Naomh, 

Deagh do bheatha dhaonndachd cheart. 

Bho 'n thoilich thu teachd, 

Fo sgeimh arain a chuirp shlain, 

Leighis m' anam bho gach olc, 

Ormsa nochdaidh mar a ta, 

A Thrianaid naomh, gun deireadh gun tus 

Na bidh t'fhearg rium na's m6dh, 

Bath m' uilc am fuil do ghras, 

Failte dhut a Mhoire sa Dhia. Amen. 

Before I left London the following very good Gaelic translation 
of "Auld Laiigsyne" came to me by post. I laid it carefully 
aside, and discovered it recently in the leaves of a MS. The 



A Collection of Unpublished Gaelic Songs. 251 

sender, whom I take to be the translator, simply endorsed the 
song thus " Dhonnachadh Sdiuard do Chailean Siseal. ' Auld 
Langsyne' air a thionndadh gu caint mhilis nam beann" : 

NA LAITHEAN CIAN. 

'N coir seann luchd eolais dol air chul, 
'S gun tigh'nii gu brath gu cuimhn', 
'N coir seann luchd eolais dol air chul, 
'S na laithean bh' ann o' chian. 

Luinneag. 

Air sgath nan laithean cian a ghraidh, 
Air sgath nan laithean cian, 
Gu'n gabh sinn cupan cairdeil Ian, 
Air sgath nan laithean cian. 

Bhith trusadh neoinean feadh nam bruach, 
B'e siod. aon uair ur miann, 
Ach 's iomadh ceum sgith a shiubhail sinn, 
laithean bh' ann a chian. 
Air sgath nan, etc. 

Bha sinn araon a cluich 's na h-uilt, 
Gu h-oich' o'n chite ghrian, 
Ach bheuchd na cuaintean eadar-uinn, 
laithean bh' ann o chian. 
Air sgath nam, etc. * 

Sin mo lamh-sa chairid chaomh, 
'S thoir dhomh 's do la^in 's gun ghianih, 
'S gu'n gabh sin tarruimi fhialaidh Ian, 
Air sgath nan laithean cian. 
Air sgath nan, etc. 

'S co cinnteach sa bhios tusa stop, 
Bidh 'm fhearsa air bord le 'm mhiann, 
'S gheibh sinn cupan cairdeil Ian 
Air sgath nan laithean cian. 
Air sgath nan, etc. 



252 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

MARBHRANN AIR IAIN SIOSAL, i.e., FEAR CHNOIC-FHINN AN 

STRATHGHLAIS, A CHAOCHAIL, ANN AM BLIADHNA 1810. 

LE ALASTAR OG A BHA 'M BAILECHLADAICH. 

'S ann mu thoiseach na 'm faoileach, 

Fhuair mi naigheachd nach caomh learn ri sheinn, 

Mu 'n tra anamoch Di h-aoine, 

Gun bhuail saighead bho'n aog fear Chnoic-fhinn, 

'S cruaidh learn acan do dhaoine, 

Mathan galach cha 'n ionadh do dheigh, 

'S do bhean og ga do chaoine, 

'S ann oirre s' fhaide bhios saoil a do dheigh. 

Tha do planntanan oga,* 

Air an lionadh Ian bron a do dheigh, 

Mar sin 's Deadh Mhac do Pheathar, 

Agus Cloinn Bhrathair t'athair 's e fein, 

'Chraobh mhullaich a b'airde, 

Bhi air tuiteam mu 'n d'fhas a cuid geug 

Dh-fhag do cheile fo chra lot, 

'Si bhi cumha gu brach a do dheigh. 

'Strom do chinneadh ga t'iargainn, 

'S do cheann fine Ian siorrachd do dheigh, 

Cha bhiodh t'f huil uaibhreach gun dioladh, 

Na 'm bann le naimhdean a riabt do chreibh, 

S lionmhor Siosalach mor, 

Rachadh fo armachd a comhnadh chum feum, 

Bhuaileadh sporan ri ord, 

Aig na cuiridh ga seoladh ri gleus. 

Chaill an High ceannas feachd, 
Bhuinnigeadh cis far a faltrich air each, 
Nuair dheireadh na Glaisich, 
Na fir mhor fo do bhratach gun sga, 
B' fhior Chaiptean air sluagh thu, 
Sheasadh dana an cruadal a bhlair, 
Gun lean sud ribh mar dhualchas, 
Nach cuireadh lasar no luaidhe oirbh sga. 

* The " planntanan oga" alluded to here were the six sons of Fear Chnoic- 
Fhinn. " Deagh Mhac do Pheathar" was the Rev. Colin Grant, for some time 
missionary priest in Nova Scotia, where he died. " Cloinn Bhrathar t'athair 
's e fein" were the two Bishops Chisholm, who died at Lismore, their sister, 
Mrs Allan Chisholm, late of Kerrow, and their venerable father, Valentine, 
who died at Inchully, aged 96 



A Collection of Unpublished Gaelic Songs. 253 

Troidh as cuimir an caiseart, 
'Sas boidhche ni coiseachd air straid, 
Claidheamh geur air do chruachan, 
Boineit iteach ort suas as coc-ard, 
N'am b'ann an Cogadh no'n cruadal, 
Kachadh saighead a bhualadh na t'fleoil, 
'S lionmhor cuiridh Ian misnich, 
Dh'eiridh leats' as na Friosalaich 6g. 

Na 'n tigheadh eigin na cas ort, 

Bhiodh Mac Shimidh bhon Aird leat a nios, 

Oighre dligheach Chuilbaice, 

Dol air thus a bhatalain gun fhiamh, 

Uaisleaii Easgadal 's Aigais 

'S iad nach tilleadh le sga san dol sios, 

'S bu mhath gu buannachd na larach, 

Nuair a ghluaist iad gu ardan na crioch. 

Bu ghniomh faoin dha do namhaid, 

Thighinn le baoghal na fath air do chul, 

Leat a dh'eiridh Mac Phadric, 

Agus tighearna bhraidhe sa thall, 

Na fir ghasda nach failnich, 

Bu mhath gu buannachd na larach le camp, 

Racheadh sios leat sa charraid, 

Le Ms ghairdean a taruinn na lann. 

'S lionmhor fine thig ga d' chomhnadh, 

Mu 'n leigte do leoin a measg Ghall, 

Leat dh'eireadh Cloinn Donuill, 

'S Mac Mhic Alastair og air an ceann, 

Ann an cogadh na Righrean, 

Fhuair mi mach gur i an fhirinn a bh'ann, 

Nach d' fhuair Sasuinn fo chis sinn, 

Nam biodh Alba cho dileas san 'am. 

Sgeul nach duilich do shloinneadh, 

Ann a brod Cloiime-Choinnich so thai, 

Na fir ardanach nasal, 

'S ceann an fheigh dhaibh mar shuaicheantas ri crann,. 

'S iad a thigheadh sa bhuaileadh, 

'N am tarruing na truaille dheth lann, 

Gum faicte na 'n cruachan, 

Luchd nan casagan ruadh ann am fang. 



254 Gaelic Society of Inverness- 

Gur lionmhar stuth uaibhreach, 

Tha direadh ri do ghruaidhean gu h' ard, 

Full Sir Eoghan nam bratach, 

Leis an eireadh na gaisgich san spairn, 

Bhiodh na naimhdean ga 'n gearan, 

'S iad a call an cuid fala ann sa bhlar, 

Aig na laoich bu mhor meanmna, 

Kachadh sios leat gu dearbhadh do leois. 

Ach gur nior mo chuid art ail, 

'S mi bhi cluinntinn 's a faicinn mar tha, 

Gun d' fhuair innleachd fir Shasuinn, 

Comas comhnuidh na t'aitreabh a thamh, 

An dara ceannas bu shinne, 

Deth 'n t-seann linn de na chinneadh a b'fhearr, 

Crion a n 'ionad nan saoidhean, 

Mac a Ghoill thigh 'n an taobh so na d' ait'. 

Gum b' e 'n caraiche an saoghal, 
Le chuid faileasan faoine gun sta, 
Smairg a ghabhadh droch mhisneachd, 
Na dheilegeadh briste bhi dha, 
Mar bha lob air a cheusadh, 
Le lotan Ian chreuchdan gu bhas, 
An deigh chuid cloinne agus f heudal, 
A sgrios bhuaidh mu 'n d'eirich sud dha. 

Nuair bhiodht 's tigh-osda, 

Cha ba sgrubaire poit thu bha crion, 

Cha b'e eigheachd nan stopan, 

Bu mhian le do sheorsa riamh, 

Ach goc am buideal as deabh i, 

'S olar as i mu'n deonaich sinn triall, 

Ge b'e dhianadh a traghadh, 

'S tusa a b'urrainn a paidheadh sa diol. 

'S goirt a ghaoir aig na feumnaich, 

'S iad a cumha mu dheidhinn do bhais, 

'S iomadh fear agus te, 

Fhuair cnodach gun eis air do sga, 

Gheibht a pocaid na feile, 

Rud a bheireadh na feumnaich a cas, 

: S cridhe farsuinn na ceille 

Ga thoirt seachad gun eis air a laimh. 



A Collection of Unpublished Gaelic Songs. 255 

'Nuair thilleadh tu dhachaidh, 

Gu tur rneadhrach do bhaile le muirn, 

Bhiodh mnai oga Ian aiteas, 

Na dc sheomraichean dait le surd, 

'S iad fuaigheal air anart, 

Ann an uinneagan glainne gun smuid, 

Gheibht seanachas mu'n Fheinn ann, 

Agus iomadaidh sgeul air a chul. 

Gheibht am Biobull ga leughadh, 

Aig do sgoilearan geura le tur, 

'S deadh bhean-tighe na feile, 

Cur an ceill daibh mar dh-fheumadh a chuis, 

An am dhaibh eiridh sa mhaduinn, 

Agus sleuchdadh roi' chadal na h'oidhche, 

Gu 'm bitheadh creud agus paidir, 

Mar ri laoidh agus leadan ga 'n seinn. 



24th APRIL, 1889. 

At this meeting the following gentlemen were elected members 
of the Society, viz. : Major Randle Jackson of Swordale, Evanton, 
Koss- shire, a life member; Mr Cecil Kenard, Sconser Lodge, Skye ; 
Mr David Todd, Kingsburgh ; Mr Gilbert Matheson, draper. 
Inverness ; and Mr Peter Maeintyre, of the Crofter's Commission, 
6 Parliament Square, Edinburgh, ordinary members. Thereafter 
Mr John Whyte read a paper contributed by the Rev. Archibald 
Macdonald, Greenock, entitled " Some Hebridean Singers and their 
Songs." Mr Macdonald's paper was as follows : 

SOME HEBRIDEAN SINGERS AND THEIR SONGS. 

John MacCodrum, popularly known in his own day as " Iain 
Mac Fhearchair," was undoubtedly the greatest of our Hebridean 
bards. The MacCodrums were, I believe, a sept of the Macdonald 
clan, but the origin of the name is unknown, and the family seems 
to be extinct. John MacCodrum has immortalised his birthplace 
in a verse of " Smeorach Chloinn Domhnuill," a song composed in 
honour of his favourite clan, and published in Mackenzie's 
" Beauties" 

" An Cladh Chothain nigadh mise 

'N Aird-a-Runnair chaidh mo thogail, 

Fradharc a chuain uaimhrich chuislich, 

Nan stuadh guanach, cluaineach, cluicheach." 



256 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

The works of this bard have never been published in a separate 
form, though the most famous of them have appeared in the collec- 
tions of Stewart and Mackenzie. Since then, and within the last 
few years, two of his other songs, " Taladh Iain Mhuideartaich" 
and " Oran na h-Oige," have appeared in print for the first time, 
the former having been contributed by the Rev. John Macrury, 
Snizort, to Mr Sinclair's " Oranaiche," and the other by myself to 
the Celtic Magazine. " Oran na h-Oige" was taken down from the 
recitation of Donald Laing, Howmore, in South Uist, who died a 
few years ago, and who was really a marvellous repository of 
poetical lore. Though already in print, it is not out of place that 
it should be reproduced here, along with other effusions by the 
same bard, obtained from the same reciter. The Transactions of 
the Gaelic Society of Inverness will thus possess a complete record 
of all that has been rescued from oblivion of the productions of a 
bard of whom his countrymen are justly proud. These poems, 
with one exception, published for the first time, are an interesting 
illustration of the length of time the works of a great, though 
untutored bard may be handed down by oral tradition. 

ORAN NA H-OIGE. 

An toiseach nam bliadhnaichean ur, 
Deireadh gheamhraidhean udlaidh nam fras, 
'Nuair is anmoiche dh' eireas a ghrian, 
'S is lionmhoire 'shileas an sneachd ; 
Bi gach leanabh, gach naoidhean bochd, maoth, 
A' gabhail gu saothair 's gu cnead, 
Ach geiread an fhailidh 's an fhuachd, 
Nach faodar an gluasad bho nead. 

'N toiseach Earraich thig Gearran fliuch, garbh, 
Chuireas calluinn gach ainmhidh air ais, 
Thig tein-adhair thig torrunn 'na deigh, 
Thig gaillionn thig eireadh nach lag ; 
Bi gach leanabh gach naoidhean bochd maoth, 
Nach urrainn doibh innse 'de staid, 
Gun eirbheirt, gun asdar, gun luth, 
Gus an teirig an dudlachd air fad. 

Mart tioram ri todhar nan crann, 
A' sughadh gach allt 'us gach eas, 
Gach luibh bhios an garadh no 'n coill, 
Gun snodhach, gun duilleach, gun mheas ; 



Some Hebridean Singers. 257 

Bi turadh fuar fionnar gun bhlaths', 

A' crubadh gach ail a thig ris, 

Bi gach creutair 'n robh aiceid 's cJ Mhart, 

Tigh'n air eiginn o 'n bhas no dol leis. 

Mios grianach ur feurach an aigh, 

'M bi gach luibh a' cur blath os a ceann, 

Nach boidheach bhi 'g arach gach luis, 

Ur aluinn fo ghucaig 's fo dhriuchd ! 

Bi gach deoiridh 'n robh aiceid 's a' Mhart, 

Fas gu boidheach snuadhmhor glan ur, 

Le eirbheirt, le coiseachd, 's le cainnt, 

'N deigh gach bochdainn 's gach sgraing chur air chul. 

Bailc-Bhealltuinn* nan cuinneag 's nan stop, 
'S nam measraichean mora lom-lan, 
Trom torrach, le uibheau, 's le eoin, 
Le bainne, le feoil, 's le gruth ban ; 
Fasaidh gillean cho mear ris na feidh, 
Bi mire ri leum 'us ri snamh, 
lad gun leth-trom, gun airtneul, gun sgios, 
Sior ghreasad gu ire 's gu fas. 

Mios dubharrach bruthainneach blath, 

Bheir sineadh 'us fas air a' ghart, 

Fasaidh gillean an iongantas mor, 

Le iomadaidh b6sd agus beairt ; 

lad gun stamhnadh gun mhunadh 'nan ceill, 

Cuid de 'n nadur cho tiadhaich ri each, 

'N duil nach 'eil e 's nach robh e fo 'n ghrein, 

Ni ohuireas riuth 'fein aig meud neart. 

'N tusa 'n duine 'n robh iomadaidh bosd, 
C'uim 'nach d' amhairc thu foil air gach taobh, 
'N e bhi beairteach seach iomadaidh neach, 
No bhi taitneach mu choinneamh nan sul i 

* Bailc-Bhealltuinn. The word bailc is a good deal out of use in the sense 
in which the bard uses it in " Oran na h-Oige." In the Highland Society's 
Dictionary the word bailceach is found meaning rainy pluviosus. Macleod & 
Dewar's Dictionary gives bailc among other meanings that of a flood a 
mountain torrent. In this sense also it is found in "Mac Mhaighistir 
Alasdair's" " Marbhrann do Pheata Columain," signifying the flood, in allusion 
to the service done by the dove to Noah after his long imprisonment in the 
ark. MacCodrum, in his use of the word, gives the idea of the soft, dewy 
weather so desirable in May, and so productive of the fertility depicted in 
" Oran na h-Oige." 

17 



258 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

'N tigh creadha so 'm bheil thu 'n ad thamh, 
Chois cheadhaig ni cnamh amis an uir, 
Ma 's droch dheaghad* a bh'agad 's an fheoil, 
Thig fathast dhuit doruinn 'g a' chionn. 

Cia mar dh'eireas do n choluinn 'n robh 'm bosd, 
'Nuair a theid i 's a' bhord-chiste dhluth ? 
Cia mar dh'eireas do'n teanga 'n robh cheilg, 
No do 'n chridhe bha deilbh a mhi-run ; 
No do uinneagan buairidh nam miann, 
Dh' fhad bruaillein a' d' inntinn bho thus 1 
'S grannada sloe amis an robh iad a' d' cheann, 
'N deigh an stopadh le poll 'us le uir. 

'N deigh a stopadh le poll 'us le uir 
Anns a' closaich gun diu is beag toirt, 
J S am beagan a thug thu leat sios, 
Bheirear buileach e dhiot anns an t-sloc ; 
Cia 7 n aghaidh bu mhaisiche fiamh, 
""Cia do shuilean, cia t-fhiaclan, cia t-fhalt, 
Cia na meoirean an glacaibh nan lamh, 
Bha cur seachad gach spairn a rug ort. 

'Nuair a dh' fhalbhas an Samhradh ciuin blath, 

Theid gach uamhar 's gach ardan air chul, 

Bi cnuimhean 'g 'ur ithe 's 'g 'ur searg, 

His an abair iad farmad 'us tnu ; 

'Nuair iiach foghainn na dh'fhoghnadh de'n bhiadh, 

'S nach foghainn na lionas a bhru, 

Cha robh bheairtcas aig Solamh 's aig lob, 

'Na thoilicheadh comhlath do shuil. 

Gur e 'n gaisgeach nach gealtach am bas, 
Leis an coingeis an ;-aoibhir no 'm bochd, 
'Nuair a thilgeas e 'n gath nach teid iomrall, 
Cho cuimseHch ri urrachair a mhoisg ; 
Cha 'n amhairc e dh' inbhe no dh'uaisl', 
Ach gach ardau 's gach uamhar 'na thosd, 
'S ni cinnteach shiul Adharnh o thus', 
Bas nadurr' 'us cunntas na chois. 

* Ma 's droch dheaghad a bh' agad 's an fheoil. 

The word deaghad is not uncommonly employed in North Uist in the sense'of 
living, or morals. It appears to be a corruption of tne English word diet, 
though never used in Gaelic in the original sense of that word. 



Some Hebridean Singers. 259 

A very touching poem was composed by MacCodrum on the 
<3ve of a number of the Macdonald clan emigrating to America. 
The song seems to have been composed in prospect of their 
departure but tradition says that the greater number of the 
better-off among the supposed emigrants were in a plot to get 
their poorer neighbours away, under the pretence that they them- 
selves were to accompany them across the Atlantic. The story 
goes that the conspirators carted a large quantity of what appeared 
to be baggage to Lochmaddy, the port of departure, but that their 
trunks and boxes only contained peats ! Those who were not in 
the plot and among them, it is said, Macdonald of Griminish 
had made genuine preparations to depart, and carried out their 
intentions, even after the conspiracy was discovered, with feelings 
more to be imagined than described ; while the rest, satisfied 
probably with the success of the ruse, returned to their respective 
homes. The song seems to have been composed before the plot 
was divulged, as it makes no suggestion regarding the treachery 
that was enacted : 

Moch 's mi 'g eiridh 

Fo sprochd 's fo eislein, 

Gur bochd mo sgeula 

'S cha bhreug mo chainnt, 

Ma 's sgeula nor e, 

'S e sgeul is cianala, 

Chualas riamh 

Ann an Innse-Gall. 

'S e sgeula mor e 

Air bheagan solais, 

'S e sgeula bhroin e 

Gun cheol, gun fhonn ; 

'S e sgeul is truaighe 

Chuala cluas e, 

Air bheagan bunnachd 

'S gur buan a chall. 

'S e sgeul tha cruaidh e 
Gu'n d' ghabh sibh fuadach, 
Ar sar dhaoin'-uaisle 
Gun ghruaim, gun sgraing ; 
Gu'n d' ghabh sibh fogradh, 
'S cha b'ann 'g 'ur deoin, 
Dha'n an tir nach b' eolach 
An seors' ud ann. 



260 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Bi shine bronach 
Air cnoc 'nar onar, 
'S e luchd ar foirneart 
A bhuinigeas geall, 
Gur eiginn strioohdadh 
Do luchd ar mi-run, 
'S ar cairdean dileas 
Dol fad o laimh. 

? S e sgeul is cinntiche 

Dhuinn r'a innse, 

Ga 'n d' bhuail a chuibhl'* oirnn, 

An tuinnse teann ; 

Gu'n d' rug beul sios f oirnn, 

Gun duil direadh, 

Gu'n d' luidh am mi-fhortan 

Air ar ceann. 

Mu'n fhine phriseil 

Bu mhisneachd righ sibh, 

An am dal sios duibh 

Sibh cruinn 's a' champ, 

'S a sheasadh laidir 

Bi aodann Spaintich, 

'S nach traoight' ur n-ardan 

Gun bhas nan Gall. 

Gur bochd an sgathan 
Bbi triall 'g 'ur n-ardaich, 
Gun ann ach fasach 
'Us larach lorn, 
Na tighean maiseach 
Am biodh am pailteas, 
An deigh an sgapadh 
Gun chloich, gun chrann. 

* Ga 'n d' bhuail a chuibhl' oirnn 

Le tuinnse teann. 

The word " cuibhle" in this connection probably means the wheel of fortune, 
or Providence. Iain Lorn uses the word similarly in his elegy to Alasdair 
Dubh, Ghlinne-Garaidh 

" Thionndaidh cuibhl' air Clann Domhnuill, 
'N treas a conspunn bhi bhuatha." 

; ' Tuinnse" means the fatal blow which this wheel gave in the course of its 
revolution. 

t " Btul sios" was an old phrase conveying a malediction. " Beul sios ort" 
was a strong expression of ill-will, and, though not now in use, is to be found 
in some of Campbell's West Highland tales. 



Some Hebridean Singers. 261 

Far 'm biodh a' choisir 

Gu muinieach, ceolmhor, 

'S na tighean mora 

Bu bhoidheaoh greann ; 

Bi comhlan ur ann 

A danns' air urlar, 

A lionadh bula* 

'S gu'n chumhn' air dram. 

Ar daoine fialaidh 
Bha cliuiteach ciatach, 
Nach d' fhuaireadh riamh 
Ann a' fiar no feall, 
Bha fearail fearrgha 
Gun bhleid, gun anbharr, 
Gun tnu, gun f harmad, 
Gun chealg, gun sannt' ; 
lad ri falbh uainn 
An dudlachd aimsreach, 
Le uprait fairge 
Is aingidh greann, 
'Se smaoint an anraid 
Air mnaoi 's air paisdean, 
Is goirt a rainig 
Gach cridh' an com. 

. Mar nach b' abhaist 

Cha chluinn sinn lamhach, 

Bi cadal samhach 

Aig damn nan eang, 

Caidlidh earba 

Bheag nan gearr-chas, 

Cha chluinn i farbhas 

No stoirm 's a' ghleann. 

Bho 'n dh'fhalbh Clann D6nuill 

Nam brat 's nan ro-seol, 

An fhine bhoidheach 

Bu n6s domh 'n dream ! 

Leis 'na dh'fhalbh a cheud uair 

'S na bheil gu triall dhuibh, 

Ri uine bliadhna 

Cha 'n f hiach sinn plang. 

* " Bula" is probably a corruption of the English word bowl, and refers to 
the old-fashioned punch-bowl. 



262 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Dhubh na speuran, 
Gu'n d' dhubh na reultan, 
Dh' fhalbh teas na greine 
Cha 'n 'eil e ami. 
Thig croisean saoghalta 
'S dosgaidh dhaoin' oiriiu, 
'S ann their gach aon fhear 
Tha 'n taod oho teann. 
Tha chuis ra'r ii-aodann 
Cho cruaidh 's a dh'fhaodas, 
'S a fearaiin daor oirnn 
Gun saorsa plang ; 
Tha '11 t-sid air caochladh, 
Le gaoith 's le caonnaig, 
'S an tuil air aomadh 
Bho thaobh nam beann. 

AT daoine finealta 

Socair, siobhall', 

'N robh pailteas riomhaidh, 

Gun stri, gun staing ; 

B' e mais' 'ur beusan, 

Bhi sgaipteach gleidhteach, 

Bhi tapaidh, treubhach 

Gu cur 'na 'cheann ; 

Bhi reic ar n-airneis 

'S ar n-aite taimhe, 

'S e dh'fhag 'ur cairdeaii 

Gu tursach trom ; 

'Na bheil an larach dhiu 

Falbh am maireach, 

Gun dad a dhail 

Ach gu'n tig an long. 

'S i Ghearmailt uaimhreach 
A dhearbh 'ur cruadal, 
Rinn Alba chuartach' 
Le cruas 'ur lann ; 
B'e dreag bhur namhaid 
Sibh sheasamh laidir, 
An cinn bhi gearrta 
'S an cnamhan pronn. 



Some Hebridean Singers. 263 

Sinn nis 'nar traillean 
Ma thig an namhaid, 
Gur lag ar pairt dhiubh 
'S ar n-aireamh gann. 

Le mheud 's tha mhiann orm, 
'S tha run air m' inntinn, 
Cha '11 eol domh innse 
Bho cheann gu ceann ; 
Gach lasgair ur-ghlan 
A chaidh an taobh ud, 
Cha 'n eol domh chunntas 
Bho thus mo rann. 
Ach 's mor an dith 
Air a' cheam 'so 'n righeachd, 
Aig meud na h-ire 
'G an tug sibh ann, 
'S a nis bho 'n thriall sibh, 
Le 'r cliu 's le 'r ciatabh, 
Biodh beannachd Dhia leibh 
'Gar dion 's gach ball. 

Much of the foregoing is in the poet's happiest style, and although 
some of the verses, as \ve have them, are not lacking in obscurity, 
the poem is not unworthy of the poet's reputation. 

The next of MacCodrum's unpublished poems I am giving you 
is an elegy composed to Alexander Macdonald of Kirkibost and 
Balranald better known in his day as "Alasdair Mac Dhomhaill." 
He was the seventh in succession of the Macdonalds of Balranald, 
of whom Alexander Macdonald of Edenwood, in Fifeshire, is the 
eleventh and present representative. Alasdair Mac Dhomhaill was 
married twice, both times with issue, and the Macdonalds of Pene- 
muirean, in South Uist, are the representatives of the younger 
family. They are all the descendants of Donald Herrach Mac- 
donald, who was a son of Hugh, first of Sleat, brother of John, 
last Lord of the Isles. He was called Domhall Herrach from the 
fact that his mother was a daughter of Macleod of Harris, where 
he was probably brought up. " Alasdair Mac Dhomhaill" was 
factor for Macdonald of Sleat over his Long Island property, and 
was a man held in much esteem by the people of North Uist. He 
was also renowned for his great physical strength. His tragic 
death is celebrated in the "Marbhrann." The channel which 
separates the island of Kirkibost from the main island of North 



264 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Uist is fordable at low water, and it is supposed that Macdonald, 
while crossing the sands, fell from horseback in a fit, and, before 
he regained consciousness, was drowned by the rising tide. The 
first two verses of the elegy refer to two other deaths by drowning 
which occurred about the same time, but the remainder of the 
poem is an eulogy on the virtues of " Alasdair Mac Dhomhaill": 

Ach ge fada mi m' dhusgadh, 

Gur a pailte le m' dhusal no m' thamh, 

Gu bheil sac air mo ghiulan, 

Agus aiceid 'g a' chiuradh le cradh ; 

'S beag de sholas na duthcha, 

Tha dhe m' chomhradh ri dhusgadh an traths', 

'Na 'bheil a dhith air a chunntais, 

Dh'fhag e sgith sinn 'g a' dhusgadh gach la. 

Gur e fuaradh na Bealltuinn 

Dh'fhag am bruaillein 'nar ceann gun bhi slan, 

Sinn a' copadh gu frasach 

Air na dh'ol na fir ghasda dhe 'n t-sal ; 

Ar sar chonnspuinn Gilleasbuig, 

Agus Eoin a chuil chleachdaich mo ghradh ! 

Dh'fhag iad tairnean nar cridhe 

nhaoklh cha slanuich aon lighich ach bas. 

Fhuair sinn fuaradh 'n a dheigh, 

S' trie an ruaig ud 'g ar taghal a ghnath, 

Dh'fhag fiamh gul air ar rosgaibh 

Sinn uile ri acain 's nach nar ; 

Ar sar spailp a dhuin' uasal, 

Bu deacair f haotainn mu'n cuairt dhuin' ni b'f hearr, 

Duine macanta-suairce, 

Duine tapaidh gun tuaireapachd lamh. 

Duine measarra cliuiteach, 

Bha gu h-aoidheil 'na ghiulan 's na ghnaths', 

Beul na firinn 's an t-sugraidh, 

'S mor an dith air an duthaich do bhas ; 

'S mor a' bhearn 'n ar daoin' uaisle, 

Chaidh am maran 's an uair sin mu lar, 

Dh' fhalbh ar tacsa 's ar reite, 

Cuis is goirte do sheathar bhi fas. 



Some Hebridean Singers. 265 

Duine sgiamhach ri amharc, 

Tha sud cianail 's tu d' luidhe fo 'n fhad, 

Bu cheann uidhe ro cheud thu, 

'Nuair bu mhithich dhoibh triall air an t-sraid ; 

Gheibhte slainteachan dumhail, 

Agus traghadh air bulachan Ian, 

Urlar farsuing lorn sguapte, 

Far 'm bu tartarach fuaim bhrogan ard. 

Dol a dh'innse do phearsa, 

<Jha bu bhrideach ri t'fhaicinn air blar, 

Cha d'fhuaireadh riamh ort cron cumai Ih, 

Ged a dh'iarrt' thu bbo d' mhullach gu d shail ; 

Duine smearail, deas, treubhach, 

Bu sgafanta ceum air an t-sraid, 

Bu cheann feadhna mor, beachdail, 

Laidir teom thu neo-thais ann a' sppirn. 

Tha mi sgith dhe na roidean, 

Cheart cho direach, 's cho comhnard, 's tha'n traigh, 

'S ann a dhireas mi mhointeach, 

Bho nach cuimhneachau solais do charn, 

Ann a' larach na coise, 

Far nach d'f huair thu cur solais air lar, 

Luidh an t-Eug ort a thiota, 

Aig an aon Dia tha fios mar a bha ! 

High ! gur h-oil learn do cheile 

'N am luidh' agus eirigh 'us tamh, 

I gun sunnd air gair' eibhinn, 

'S tu gun dusgadh 's a' leine chaoil bhain ; 

'S lag a guallainn fo 'ri eallaich, 

Agus luasgan fo h-anail le cradh, 

Chiocn a fagail 'n a h-onar, 

Agus fad a' cur feoir ort 's a' charn. 

Rug an dil oirnn am bliadhna, 

'S goirt an sgrioba thug fiaclan an t saibh, 

Mar tha fuaradh na bochdaiim, 

'S ann tha thuar air a' chnoc a bbi fas ; 

Mallachd buan air an dosgaidh, 

Thug i nainn na cinn stoca cho trath, 

Mar a bhuaileadh a' chrois oirnn, 

'S ann a fhuaireadh do chorp anns a bhagh. 



266 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Bu tu beannachd na tuatha, 

'S tu nach teannadh iad cruaidh mu'n a mhal, 

Ceann diadhaidh nan truaghan, 

'Nuair a dh'iarradh iad fuasgladh na'n cas ; 

Fhir a b'aon-f hillte cridhe, 

'S tu gun chlaonadh gu sligheachan cearr, 

'S tu nach buaineadh a bhuinig, 

Air a chluain sin nach cuireadh am tarr. 

Cha robh ar diobhail gun ghainne, 

'S Di-ciadain mu dheireadh de 'n Mhaigh, 

Ann an iochdar na sgeire, 

Bha ar mi-stath so shoilleir le each ; 

Ann an uachdar a' chladaich, 

Far nach d'fhuair thu tigh'n dhachaigh gu blaths', 

Cas bu luaith air an astar, 

Agus guallainn 'n robh neart air an t-snamh. 

Gu'm b' e imrich an fhuathais 

Anns a' mhaduinn 'nuair ghluaiseadh Di-mairt, 

Gu'n robh frasan air gruaidhean, 

Agus basan g' am bualadh le cradh ; 

Gu'n robh gruagan 'g an cireadh, 

Daoine truagha 'g an spionadh gu lar, 

Mar nach guidheadh neach riamh leat, 

'S ann a dh'uidheamaich Dia dhuit am bas. 

We now pass " from grave to gay," from those more serious 
and pathetic efforts to others of a lively, sportive, and humorous 
description, a style of composition which was thoroughly charac- 
teristic of MacCodrum, whose sallies of wit are still remembered 
and quoted in his native island. One of the sprightliest and most 
amusing of his comic songs is " Oran a bhonn-a-sia," of which the 
following is an account : A cattle dealer and farmer from Skye, 
called Roderick Macleod or, from the name of his place, Ruairi 
Bhorlain had occasion once to ferry live stock from Loch Ephort, 
'n North Uist, across the Minch to Skye. Among others, the 
bard, who was as vigorous in body as in mind, was called upon to 
assist in taking the cattle on board. After this was accomplished, 
and the sails of the smack were about to be hoisted to catch the 
favouring breeze, MacCodrum received from the drover, as the 
reward of his services, what, in the uncertain light of eve, the 
poet's exuberant fancy imagined to be a guinea. In " Oran a 
bhonn-a-sia" he describes his reception of the gift, his thanks to 



Some Hebridean Singers. 267 

the generous donor, and the despatch of a messenger to the neigh- 
bouring inn to get a part of the gold dissolved into mountain 
dew. When the supposed guinea was presented in payment the 
tableau may be imagined : 

Soraidh slan do 'n duin' uasal, 

Thug dhomh an duais nach robh ruiothar, 

J N deigh do 'n ghrein do 'na suidhe, 

'S greis air tighimi de 'n oidhche ; 

Gus 'n do rainig mi 'n teine, 

Mo chridhe mire ri m' inntinn, 

Ann an duil gur e guinea, 

A rinn an duine dhomh shineadh. 

Haoi o haoiri horo +hall, 

&c., &c., 

Cha chei] mi air each, 
Naeh 'eil am baidse learn gann. 

Rinn mi fichead troidh square, 
Agus barrachd a sgriobadh, 
Urrad eile 's ni 's modha, 
De mhodhanna siobhalt' ; 
A' faighneachd le onoir, 
Ciod am moladh a b' fhiach e. 
'Nuair a chuncas am baidse, 
'S ann bu nar e ri' a innse. 

B' ann 's an tigh air a' laimhrig, 
Fhuair sinn tear mad na h-oidhche, 
Dh'fhaighneachd Aonghas Mac Aulaidh, 
" Ciod a th'ann a chaart riribh ?" 
Thuirt mi fhin gu'n robh guinea, 
Gun aon sgillin a dhith air, 
Labhair esan gu socair, 
" 'S coir dhuit botal thoirt dhuinn dheth." 

Thuirt mi fhin le guth fosgarr, 
" 'Uam am botal beag spiocach, 
C' uim' a bhith'mid ri bochdainn, 
C' uim' nach cosgamaid pinnt dheth 1 
Falbh thusa bi tapaidh, 
Thoir an clachan so shios crt, 
Gabh rathad na Leacaich,* 
Fag do chaisbheairt cuir dhiot e." 

* %< Leacaich" So called from the rocky nature of the land. 



268 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

'Nuair a rainig e Tearrlach 
An araidh nach dolach, 
A bha 'shliochd nan daoin' uaisle, 
Do 'm bu dualach an onair ; 
'N deigh na botail a lionadh, 
'S ami bhi trilleach an donais, 
'Nuair a dh'fheuchadh am baidse, 
Bha da fhairdinn 's a' sporan ! 

'N sin leag Tearrlach a mhala, 
'S thug e criothnachadh mor dh'i, 
" Cha lobh mise 'm bhall buirte, 
Bho 'n la ghiulain mi cota, 
Bonn-a-sia air son guinea, 
Cha ghabh duine tha beo e, 
Fhaic thu cuineadh na Ban righ, 
'S dealbh na clarsaich fo 't-n air." 

Labhair Aonghas an trathsa, 
" 'S ami tha naire sin domhsa, 
Na bi rithist 'g a' thumadh, 
'Sinn 'nar urrachan coire ; 
Far a faighte' duin' uasal, 
Cha b' e Ruairi an drobhair, 
'S mar a deachaidh mi mearachd 
Gur a balach gu bhroig e. 

" 'Nuair chluinneas Torniod a Uinis, 
Agus Uilleam a Os , 
Tormod eile 's a Siorram, 
Far an cruinnich iad comhlath ; 
Their iad fein nach duin' uasal, 
C thug uaith as a dhorn e, 
Ach nor sheamanach ballaich,* 
Fear gun aithne gun eolas. 

" Their Fear-fearann an Leigh, 
Tha mi 'g eisdeachd ni 's mo dheth, 
Thig an gnothuch gu solus, 
Le onoir 's le comhdach ; 

* " Fior sheamanach balaich" The dictionaries render the word teamanach 
-as meaning " stout, jolly, cheerful." But the bard makes use of it as signify- 
ing a sturdy indifference to the rights or feelings of others. " Seamanach 
balaich" is a rough, churlish, bullying character. 






Some Hebridean Singers. 

'S maith a dh'aithneadh e 'n copar, 
Air a shocair fo mheoirean, 
Ach chuir an donas gias lamh air, 
Mar tha meirleach fo chordail. 

'S tim dhuinn nis bhi dol dachaigh 

Gus ar cairtealan coire, 

Sinn gun dram gun tombaca, 

Gun dad againn a dh'olas ; 

Bonn-a sia eadar ochdnar, 

Cha bu choltach an Ion e, 

Dh'ith e fein a' mhin choirce, 

'S cha d'thug moisean dad dhomhsa ! 

The object of this satire was a person of some consequence in his 
native Skye, and, as might be expected, much offence was. 
occasioned among his friends by the ridiculous representation of 
what appeared to be his meanness. The bard's intention, how- 
ever, was not really malicious. He was simply carried away by 
the comic aspect of the scene, and " Oran a bhonn-a-sia" was the 
result. In the end he was willing to give the hero of his sally 
the benefit of the doubt. On singing the verses afterwards in 
company, and hearing his audience laugh immoderately, he added 
the following supplementary impromptu verse, in which t he- 
drover's apparent niggardliness was condoned or explained away 

Fairi ! fairi ! dhaoin' u aisle, 
C'uim' nach gluaiseadh sibh stolda, 
'S ann tha Ruairi 'n a bhantraich, 
Agus clann air tigh'nn og air ; 
'S gu'm bi dubhar na h-oidhche, 
Cur na milltean gu dorainn, 
Cur nan loingeas gu cladach, 
Far nach faiceadh an t-seolaid. 

John's relation to womankind was, for a bard, anomalous and 
imique. He was married thrice, yet, notwithstanding that 
practical acknowledgment of female attractiveness, his poetical 
addresses to the fair sex never assumed a more sentimental tone 
than good-humoured chaff or banter. In the following lines he 
indulges in a series of complaints against his wife, for real or 
imaginary mismanagement of those domestic matters in which he 
himself was more directly interested : 



270 Gaelic Society of /nuerness. 

'S eiginn domh 'n t-aiiart 

A cheannach gu leine, 

Dh'aindeoin no dh'eiginn 

Ged tha mo bhean beo. 

'S eiginn dornh rithist 

Dol an iochd na cloiun iiighean, 

Ag iarra'dh a iiighe 

Ged tha mo bhean beo. 

Cha bhea,g a chuis anntlachd* 

'S gun mi garni do na caoirich, 

A bhi ceannach an aodaich, 

Ged tha mo bhean beo ; 

Ge beag e ri radh 

Tha e nar learn air uairibh, 

Bhi air faoigh an t-snath fhuaighill 

Ged tha mo bhean beo. 

Cha 'n fhuiling a chlann domh, 

Bhi ri streampull no briodal, 

Chual iad gu cinnteach 

Gu bheil mo bhean beo. 

'S truagh nach lobh mise 

'S gun ise 'm Eirgini, 

Far nach deant' orm innse 

(in bheil mo bhean beo. 

Chuirinn teachdaire romham 

Gu iomall gach sgire, 

Dh'innse gu cinnteach 

Nach robh mo bhean beo. 

Gheibhinn te og ann 

A chordadh ri m' inntinn, 

'S cha chluinneadh i chaoidh 

Gu bheil mo bhean beo. 

Tha i mall air a lamhan 

'S i dana gu labhairt, 

'S e dh'fhag mi gun samhuilt 

Mo bhean a' bhi beo. 

Somewhat similar in tone is another fugitive effusion of the 
bard's " Oran nam Bantraichean." He pretends to be annoyed 
by what would at first appear to be the obtrusive attentions of 

* In these verses against his wife, it may. appear unreasonable on the bard's 
part to complain of having to buy his clothes, or beg for thread. It need 
hardly be explained that clothes and linen thread were all home-spun in those 
days out of native wool and home-grown flax. 



Some Hebridean Singers. 271 

the widows of the district. These dames, who did not refuse to 
be comforted, were not disposed to regard John as an ineligible 
match, though he had by that time buried his second wife. The 
satire of the following stanzas is as much directed against himself 
as against the " widders," of whose supposed arts he seems to have 
been as much afraid as Dickens' famous hero. Whether he 
succumbed to the charms of one of these experienced sirens or to 
the attractions of a spinster in his third matrimonial venture we 
are unable to say : 

Tha na bantraichean 'g am sharuch', 
'S gun agam nm dheighinn pairt diubh, 
Och ! och ! mo chall 'us mo naire, 
Falbhaidh mi 's fagaidh mi 'n tir. 

Theireadh iad gur mi 'n coireach, 
Mi 'n coireach, mi 'n coireach, 
Theireadh iad gur mi 'n coireach, 
Ged a theirinn-sa nach mi. 

'M Pabuill 's a' Sannda, 's a' Sollas, 
Gu'm bi dream dhiubh anns gach dorus, 
Leis mar a chuir iad 'nam bhoil mi, 
Theid mi sgorr am faigh mi sith. 

Thuirt te dhiubh le comhradh caoimhneal, 
" 'S maith a b'ajridh e air maighdinn, 
'S math a cheannsaicheadh e raoin',* 
An dorus faing ged bhiodh i stri." 

Thuirt te eile gu ceol spors doibh, 
" Ciod e 'm fath dhuinn bhi 'g a thorachd, 
B' f hearr leis bhi falbh leis na h-orain, 
Na bhi doruinn ri cois-chruim." 

Sin 'nuair thuirt Bailidh an Tighearn, 
" 'S ann tha 'm baini ort a' tighinn, 
'G iarraidh gu posadh a rithist, 
'S tu 'n deigh dithis chur do 'n chill." 

* The word raoine is not, I think, in books or dictionaries. It is, however, 
quite intelligible in Uist, though not quite so common or current as it was 
forty years ago. It means a young barren cow that had a calf, or perhaps 
two ; but, being barren, and having " cuid a laoigh air a leis" i.e., the calf's 
}>art or share (of milk) on her thighs she would be strong, and difficult to lny 
hold of and manage at the time of shipping. Hence the propriety of the 
compliment to MacCodrum's strength. 



272 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Thuirt fear Ghriminis gu fiadhaich, 
'S e tarruing bucuis air fhiaradh, 
"A faca sibh riamh cuis mi-thlachd, 
Ach fear liath gun chiall gu mnaoi !" 

The satire on the tailors a fraternity he held in scant respect 
is the last of MacCodrum's unpublished efforts I am in a position 
to give you. My version of it seems to be a fragment, and I am 
not aware of the existence of any other. He appears to have 
encountered insurmountable difficulties in securing the services of 
the "knights of the needle," and the irritation caused by this 
unsatisfactory state of matters resulted in " Oran nan Taillearan." 
Its chief interest lies in the fact that it was MacCodrum's second 
effort at rhyme : 

Saoil sibh fein nach m6ralach, 

An spors a bha 's na taillearan, 

Fairi ! fairi ! co bhiodh ann 

Na foghnadh danns' 'us gaireachdaich ; 

Ach ma bheireas dragh no trilleach orra, 

Drip le mnaoi no paisdean, 

'S ami a chithear feadh na tire iad, 

'Nan aoidheachdaich 's nan anrachdaich.* 

'M b' aithne dhuibh-se mhnathan, 
A mac samhuilt aig na taillearan ? 
'Nam eirigh anns a mhaduinn, 
Gun dad aca chuireas blaths orra, 
H-uile sian de 'n riatanas, 
'Ga iarraidh air na uabaidhean, 
'S an te bheir ultach moine dha, 
Bheir Dia na gloire paidheadh dhi ! 

* " Nan aoidheachdaich 's nan anrachdaich." 

AoidheacJidach is derived from aoidh a guest ; first, of course, in a good 
sense, but a man who taxes too much the hospitality of his friends, becomes 
contemptible, and is called an aoidkeachdach a " sorner." Anrachdach pro- 
bably comes from the word rath a fortune, or luck, or prosperity with the 
privitive an prefixed, so that it would first be an-iathach, an adjective ; 
an-rathachd being the noun. With the common termination ach added, the 
above noun might very easily become anrachdach. It means a miserable 
wanderer, in fact, a tramp, without the idea of vicious practices. The shorter 
word, anrach, is in Neil Macleod's " Gleann 's a' robh mi og<" in the sense of a 
wanderer, but does not seem to involve any degradation, but may mean honest- 
poverty, still a state men will look down upon. 



Some Hebridean Singers. 273 

Labhair mi ri Mac-a-Phiocair, 

(Ihealladh trie 's e sharuich mi, 

Gheall e 'm bliadhna gheall e 'n uiridh, 

Dh' fhuirich e 's cha d' thainig e. 

" Cha dean mi tuilleadh briodail riut, 

Bho 'n tha mi sgith dhe t'abhartan, 

Gur truagh nach 'd rinn iad greusaich dbiot, 

'S gu'm biodh na breugaii nadurra." 

Labhair mi ri Mac-an-t-Saoir, 

Cha b'ann aon uair bha mo chairdeas ris, 

B'eol domh agus b' aithne dhomh, 

Thaobh athar 'us a mhathar e. 

" Cha ruig thu leas bhi smaointeachadh, 

Gur duine faoin an Gaidhlig mi, 

Mholainn agus dh'aoirinn thu, 

Cho maith ri h-aon air Ghaidhealtachd." 

Labhair mi ri Mac Aonghais Ghlais, 
" An tig thu mach am maireach dhomh ?" 
Thuirt e, " S ann is neonach learn, 
'S tu eolach air an f hailingeadh ; 
Nach faic thu fein bean og agam, 
Nach leig 'ga deoin air fath chul mi, 
Ged dh'f halbhainnse cha choisichinn, 
'S cha bhi mi nochd an Cairinis." 

The foregoing, with one or two exceptions, are all I have picked 
up of the unpublished songs of Iain Mac Fhearchair. One of the 
exceptions is "Oran na Bainnse," a satire upon a wedding, at 
which, as a half-grown lad, he seems to have been ignored. The 
young wedding guest resented the slight, whatever it was, and 
poured forth his contempt for the principals in vigorous, though 
not elegant, verse. Like the juvenile efforts of most great poets, 
it hardly indicates the future eminence of its author, and the 
publication of it would do nothing to enhance the poet's fame, 
even although a liberal use of asterisks should make it acceptable 
to ears polite. 

We now come to another distinguished Hebridean singer, 
Archibald Macdonald, known in his time as " Gille na Ciotaig." 
He was born at Paible, in North Uist, where MacCodrum composed 
the " Smeorach." He received all the education he ever got ill 
the parochial school of that parish, the only school there at the 
time. When the gifted and amiable Sir James Macdonald, pro- 

18 



274 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

prietor of North Uist, was, with a number of Uist and Skye 
gentlemen, deer-stalking in the hills there, they carne upon a 
sheiling, or " airidh," where the parents of the bard were residing 
for a few weeks, with their cattle and sheep, as was the custom in 
those good old times ; and, the goodwife having shown her hospi- 
tality by offering them a drink of the milk of her heather-fed 
cows, which all Highlanders know to have a peculiar sweetness of 
its own " bainne air airidh" Sir James, who added to his other 
extensive and wonderful accomplishments a good knowledge of 
the mountain tongue, entered into conversation with her, asking 
her about the welfare of her family, and so forth. She told him, 
among other things, that her two boys were at the west side in 
school, and that one of them had been born with a defective arm, 
short and with only rudimentary fingers. Sir James asked his 
name, and when told that he was baptised by the name of 
" Gilleasbuig," he answered, " It was a pity that they did not call 
him Coll, so that there would be another ' Colla Ciotach' again in 
the Macdonald clan." Before leaving, Sir James gave her money 
to aid in the prosecution of her sons' education. Luckily the 
sound arm was the right one, so that he M as able to use it in 
various ways ; and, being an expert writer, he was employed by 
Macdonald, the " baillidh breac" a son of " Alasdair Mac Dhomh- 
aill," to whom MacCodrum composed the elegy as clerk, whilst 
he held the factorship of the Clanranald estate of South Uist. 
Mention having been made of Sir James Macdonald, it may be 
added that during that shooting excursion the gun of Macleod of 
Tallisker went off accidentally, and the shot lodged in Sir James' 
leg, and that it was with difficulty the crofters of North Uist were 
kept from laying violent hands on the offender. It was said his- 
fine frame never recovered the shock from the accident. It was 
then that his kinsman, Macdonald of Vallay, composed the well- 
known piobaireachd, " Cumha na Coise." " Gilleasbuig na Ciotaig," 
like all true bards, had an ambition to immortalise himself, by 
having his bardic effusions perpetuated in a book ; and, with this 
purpose, he started for Inverness, the town with which the 
Western Isles had most frequent communication and easiest access 
in those days. He only reached as far as Fort-Augustus, where 
he died and was buried ; and, if the spot could be identified, 
which is very unlikely, it would be well on the part of his country- 
men to erect a monument to the memory of one who has justly 
been called the finest and cleverest of all the Gaelic comic bards. 
It is said that while at Fort- Augustus he met with Alexander 
Stewart, who had been parochial schoolmaster of North Uist the- 



Some Hebridean Singers. 275 

author of " A Mhairi bhoidheach, 's a Mhairi ghaolach" and that 
his manuscripts, having fallen into Stewart's hands after Mac- 
donald's death, formed the foundation of that excellent volume of 
Gaelic poems, called "Stewart's Collection." Macdonald is 
essentially the bard of humour and satire, and his only serious 
production, his eulogy of Lochiel, is much inferior to his livelier 
poems. One of his most amusing songs is his lampoon on the 
"Doctair Leodach," published in Mackenzie's collection. This 
" Doctair Leodach" was a favourite mark with Macdonald at which 
to aim his shafts of ridicule. Macleod was born in St Kilda, and 
seems to have returned there on a visit once at least in the course 
of his life. Hence Macdonald nicknamed him the " Giobain 
Hirteach" in a sprightly effusion, of which 1 have picked up the 
following. The hero seems to have been a great fop, who went 
about arrayed in full Highland dress : 

Gu seinn mi 'n Giobain Hirteach dhuit 

'S e nis a tigh'n do 'n duthaich, 

Cha dean mi di-chuimhn' idir air, 

'S ann bheir mi tiotal ur dha ; 

Ma dh'fhalbh e uainn gu briogaiseach, 

Gu'n d' thainig e gu biodagach, 

'S cha'n fhaigh e 'n aite bhrioscaidean, 

Ach iseanan an t-sulair. 

'Nuair chunnaic iad an Lunnain thu, 
Bha h-uile fear a fe6rach, 
Co as thainig an lunnaiche, 
'S am buimealair 's an t-61ach, 
Ma 's maraich e gur culach e, 
'S gur leathunn tiugh a phullet e, 
'S tha watch urrad ri turnip 
Aig a' lunnaiche 'n a' phocaid. 

An gille bh'aig na doctairean, 
Gur iomadh poit a sgurr e, 
Gu'm b'olc gu reefadh topsail, 
'Nuair bu chaise thigeadh cuis e ; 
'Nuair chunnaic an long Spainteach e, 
Gu'm b'ard a chluinnte rainich e, 
Cha saighdear am fear spairtealach, 
Cha seas e guard no duty. 

Another hitherto unpublished poem by Macdonald is in the 
form of a sgiobaireachd, in which a most amusing description is 



276 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

given of a tempestuous voyage in an ill-found craft, from Loch- 
maddy, the principal harbour in North Uist, to some other port of 
the Outer Hebrides : 

A falbh a Loch-na-mada dhuinn, 
Le rant a ghaoith an lar, 
A' togail a cuid aodaich ri, 
Cha 'n fhacas aogas riamh ; 
Bu lionrnhoire dhuit sracadh ann, 
Na cunntas shlat an cliabh, 
'S their learn fein gu'm b'amadan 
Thug anam innte sios. 

Sgiobair laidir aineolach, 

Ko bharaileach mu ghniomh, 

Gu'm b' olc gu cunntas fearainn * i, 

'S i an-sheasgair 'n a' gniomh ; 

Da thota 's dh'ith na giurain iad, 

Na croinn air an cul sios, 

B'e cuid de'n fhasan ur, 

An cur an taobh nach robh iad riamh. 

B' e sud na croinn 's bu neonach iad 

Gun dad ach seorsa ramh, 

Gun dad a snaidheadh riamh orr', 

Ach an liadh thoirt dhiubh le tal ; 

Spreod de bhun slat iasgaich, 

Mar a thogas fiannuis chaich, 

'S gur iomadh uair a shiolaigh'mid, 

Mar bhitheadh Dia nan gras. 

Na cuplaichean f gun sughadh annt', 
'S an stagh 'sa dhuil ri falbh, 
Na croinn a bagairt lubadh, 
'Nuair a thigeadh tuirling gharbh ; 
Deich laimhrigean a chunnt mi, 
'S mi 'nam chruban air a calg, J 
'S mi greimeachadh le m' innean, 
Ann an ait' nach direadh sgarbh. 

" Cunntas fearainn" A phrase applied to the progress of a boat as it 
.skirts along the coast. 

t " Cuplaichean" The shrouds. 

+ " Calg" I am in doubt as to calg being the proper reading in this passage, 
as I have not been able to ascertain that the word is applied to any part of a 
boat. It has been suggested, with some likelihood, that the word is really 
balg ; and I find that the word bulg, in Macleod and Dewar's dictionary, as 
well as in the Highland Society's, is rendered, " the convexity of a ship." 



Some Hebn'dean Singers. 277 

'Se e mo run an Domini ullach, 
Bha comhlath rium 's a bhat, 
'N robh spionnadh agus cruadal, 
Air a guallainn leis a' ramh ; 
Dol sios gu Ruadha- Lirinis,* 
Gu tir Mhic Raonaill Bhain, 
Bha fear an sin. na eiginu, 
'S gun air fein ach an aon lamh.t 

Bu chruaidh eadar da Eigneig J i, 
'S a muir ag eirigh searbh, 
'S a ghaoth a bha 's a speuraibh, 
Cur an ceill gu robh e garbh ; 
'Nuair rainig siini rudh Eubhadh, || 
'S a bha h-uile beud air falbh, 
Gu'n d'fhuair sinn Ian na gloine, 
Ghuireadh anam am fear marbh ! 



Dh'falbh sinn agus fras ann, 
Cha bu stad dhuinn 's cha bu tamh, 
Gus ? n do rainig sinn an cladach, 
'S an robh acarsaid an aigh ; 
Seann teadhair a bh 'air capull, 
Chuir iad orr' i air son cabull, 
Fullag airson acair, 
Cha robh acasan ni b' f hearr. 

* " Ruadha Lirinis" is a well-known point on the Minch, where crofters 
used to live previous to the absorption of those pendicles on the east coast into 
larger grazings. " Mac Raonaill Bhain" would have been one of the largest 
tenants on that part of the sea-coast. 

1* " 'S gun air fein ach aon larnh." 
This of course, is a serio-comic reference to his own deformity. 

" Da Eigneig" are two rocks, somewhat similar to the Scylla and Charyb- 
dis of the ancients, and which were very dangerous to the smaller boats, 
which found ife necessary to keep near the land. The same Eigneag is descrip- 
tive of the danger incurred in getting past them. 

|| " Ru Eubhadh" is a point opposite the south end of Beinn Eubhall, the 
highest hill in North Uist. There is a harbour for boats " Seolaid Ru' Eubh- 
adh" where there was a small inn at one time for the convenience of callers, 
and where Macdonald got the potent and reviving glass of whisky to which he 
makes such feeling reference. Near Ru Eubhadh, MacCodrum, the bard, 
lived during a good part of his life, and probably died there, though tradition 
is not very clear upon the matter. 



278 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Another Hebridean singer, well known in his day, but of very 
much inferior powers to either of the foregoing, was Alexander 
Macdonald, two of whose songs were given to your Society recently 
in a paper by the minister of Snizort. He was descended from the 
aboriginal family of Macdonalds in North Uist. He was called 
the " Ball Muileach," from the fact of his father having resided 
for a number of years in the island of Mull, where the bard was 
probably born. His father, however, like a true Highlander 
who is beyond all others "faoileag an droch cladaich" migrated 
back to Uist, and his posterity are still called the "Muileachs," 
from their ancestor having sojourned in " Muile nam Morbheann" 
for a time. He was a man of fine presence, a splendid specimen 
of a stalwart Highlander. He went about always dressed in the 
garb of Old Gaul, and from his great size, as well as to the fact 
of there being in the same locality another blind man of dimin- 
utive stature, he was called the " Ball Mor." He lost his eyesight 
in early youth in consequence of a virulent attack of smallpox. 
The " Ball Mor" was a great rhymester, but not many of his 
effusions have been preserved. Being a man of great poweis of 
memory, and being thus able to repeat the whole of the Shorter 
Catechism and large portions of the Bible, he was appointed as 
catechist for the parish of North Uist, through which he travelled 
summer and winter, and it is said did a lot of good by teaching 
the youth of his day to learn by heart the Catechism, a number of 
Psalms, and other portions of holy writ. The following verses 
were composed by him to one of the Macdonalds of Vallay, prob- 
ably a son of Ewen Macdonald, first of Vallay, who has been 
already referred to as the author of " Cumha na Coise." They are 
all I have been able to pick up of the "Ball Mor's" productions: 

'S toigh learn an Bomhnullach sobar, 
Aig am bheil an t-aigne stollda, 
Bheir gach aon duit urram corra, 
Eoghainn oig a Bhallaidh. 

'S toil leam an Bomhnullach subhach, 
Cruinn chas a dhireas am bruthach, 
Le gunna caol a bheoil chumhainn, 
Bheireadh fuil 's a lamhaich. 

Tha thu d' dhannsair, tha thu d'fhidhleir, 
Tha thu foghainteach deas direach, 
'S tu nach labhradh ach an fhirinn 
Beul o'm binn thig manran. 



Some Hebridean Singers. 

Snamhuiche taobh gheal na stuaidh thu, 
Bheireadh tu brie gu na bruaichean, 
'S mairg a rachadh riut 's an tuasaid, 
'Nuair a ghluaiste t'ardan. 

'S cairdeach thu do Chaisteal Tioram, 
'S do Mhuideartach mor a ghlinne, 
Am Blar Leine rinn thu milleadh, 
Le do ghillean laidir. 

'S cairdeach thu Dhuntuilm nam baideal, 
Anns an tur am biodh na brataich, 
Buidheann nan seol 's nan srol daite 
Rachadh grad do '11 lamhaich. 

I must now bid farewell to the Hebridean singers, but I hope 
it is not for long. In the preparation of this paper I have received 
material assistance from my father Rev. Roderick Macdonald, 
minister of South Uist especially as regards the information I 
have given about " Gille na Ciotaig" and the "Dall Mor," with 
reference to whom I have almost given his ipsissima verba. I have 
also had valuable aid from him in the explanatory notes appended. 
I would trust on a future occasion to submit to your notice 
another, if a smaller, galaxy of poetical stars in the Western firma- 
ment, with some snatches of song, worthy of remembrance, which 
I have picked up in the course of ?a few flying visits to " Uidhist 
bheag riabhach nan cradh-gheadh." 



1st MAY, 1889. 

At this meeting Mr Angus J. Beaton, C.E., London arid North- 
Western Railway, Bangor, North Wales, was elected a member of 
the Society. Thereafter the Secretary read a paper contributed 
by Mr Chas. Fergusson, The Gardens, Cally, Gatehouse, entitled 
" The Early History, Legends, and Traditions of Strathardle." 
Mr Fergusson's paper was as follows : 

SKETCHES OF THE EARLY HISTORY, LEGENDS, AND 
TRADITIONS OF STRATHARDLE AND ITS GLENS. 

At a meeting of the Gaelic Society, about a dozen years ago, 
when I was a resident member in Inverness, the subject of collect- 
ing the early history, legends, traditions, folk-lore, &c., &c., of the 
Highlands, was brought forward, and, after discussion, it was 



280 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

agreed that every member then present should collect, in their 
respective native districts, whatever old lore they could find for 
the Society ; and as I was the only Perthshire man present, I was 
specially asked to do what I could for my native Athole, to which 
I readily agreed, as I had been for many years previously engaged 
in collecting material for a proposed history of my native Strath- 
ardle, a work in which I am now well advanced, and from which 
I now give some short sketches. 

I am very glad to see that other two members who were 
present at that meeting have already redeemed their promise 
Mr Colin Chisholm and Mr William Mackay, who are doing such 
good work for their native Glens of Strathglass and Urquhart ; and 
I hope the other members will be to the front next session with 
what they have collected in their several districts. 

The writing of the history of many districts of the Highlands, 
such as Athole, Breadalbane, Braemar, or Strathspey, is com- 
paratively easy, as, in general, it is simply the history of the great 
families who ruled there, and whose deeds and doings are part of 
Scotland's history, and, as such, are preserved in public and 
private records. But in Strathardle, as in some other districts, it 
is more difficult, not from want of material, as I do not think there 
is another district of the same extent in the Highlands where so 
many historic scenes can be pointed out ; but from the fact that 
no great historic family ever ruled there as lords supreme, for 
though most of the district is in the ancient Earldom of Athole, 
and the Duke of Athole bears the title of Earl of Strathardle, yet- 
the native clans the Robertsons, Fergussoiis, Rattrays, Smalls, 
Spaldings, and M'Thomas or M'Combies always followed their 
different chiefs, who generally took opposite sides. Owing also to 
its position on the Lowland border, and as one of the great passes 
into the Highlands, it was generally in a state of war and turmoil ,. 
from that famous day in 84, when the defeated Caledonians fled 
for shelter to the woods of Strathardle from the conquering 
Romans, after the battle of Mons Grampus, till 1746, when Lord 
Nairne and other defeated Jacobites sought shelter in its caves 
and woods after Culloden. So most of its lands very often 
changed owners, and many of the old families are extinct, and 
their histories mostly forgotten and their records lost, so that its 
history has to be collected from many scattered sources. 

The M 'Leans of Mull, claim to have been so far advanced at 
the time of the flood, as to have started opposition to Noah, in 
" having each a boat of their own." I will, however, be more 
modest for Strathardle, and only go back to the year 1, when we 



Sketches of the Early History of Strathardle. 281 

find it inhabited by the great tribe of the Vagomogi, as we are 
told by that old geographer Ptolemy. In the year 84 was fought 
the great battle of Monr, Grampus, between the Caledonians and 
the Romans, the site of which has caused so much controversy 
amongst various writers, some placing it near Ardoch, in south 
Perthshire, and others as far east as Stonehaven ; but when all the 
evidence has been duly weighed, I think most of our authorities 
now agree that it was fought about midway between those places, 
in the Stormont, at the lower end of Strathardle. That site in 
every way agrees better with the account given by Tacitus than 
any other, and from the vast number of very large tumili and 
sepulchral cairns found in that district, it must have been the 
scene of great slaughter and carnage at some very early date, and 
I think the number of Roman weapons, spurs, coins, &c., found 
there place the matter beyond doubt. In the old statistical 
account of the parish of Bendochy we read " The battle of Mons 
Grampus happened in the heart of the Stormont, upon ascending 
ground in the parishes of Kinloch, Cluny, and Blairgowrie, at the 
places called Cairns, Upper Balcairn, Nether Balcairn, Cairnbutrts, 
and Craig Roman, on the side of the Grampian ridge. The Haer 
or Here Cairns of Gormack, below and immediately contiguous 
lying close together, about 80 in number, and about 15 ft. each 
by 5 ft. high, mark the contest that followed. The flight is still 
to be traced by numerous turaili through Mause, in the parish of 
Blairgowrie, along the track that lies between the River Ericht 
and the Moss of Cochridge. 

The great Cairn of Mause lies in the tract not far from the 
wooded banks of the Ericht ; it is 81 ft. wide and 4 ft. high. It 
was opened in the centre by the writer hereof, and found to 
contain human teeth, sound, and a great quantity of human bones 
much reduced, which were mixed with charcoal and lodged 
amongst loose earth, and having undergone the fire which con- ' 
tributes to preserve the bones. This is the grave of the 340 
Romans who fell. In the New Statistical Account we are told 
that a Roman spear was found in the Moss of Cochridge, and 
another near the bed of the River Ericht ; also a bronze Roman 
coin close to one of the Cairns. 

In the Old Statistical Account of the parish of Cluny we read 
"The scene of the engagement at Heer Cairns is at no great 
distance from the mouth of the Tay, where the Roman army in 
case of defeat would have easy access to their ships. On the west 
it is defended by the steep banks of the Tay, and on the south- 
east and north-east by the banks of the Isla and Lunnan. 



282 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

" It commands a distinct view of the upper grounds of the 
Stormont, and looks directly westwards on the entrance into the 
Highlands by Dunkeld, which was then the capital of the Cale- 
doniansj and in the vicinity of which it would be natural for them 
on this occasion to hold a general rendezvous. In several parts of 
this neighbourhood the surface of the ground exhibits a singular 
appearance of long hilly ridges or drums, answering very well to 
the " colles " of Tacitus, running parallel from west to east, and 
rising above one another like the seats of a theatre. This appear- 
ance is remarkably exemplified at the Guard Drums, which are 
partly enclosed by the Buzzard Dyke or Vallum, which is still in 
many places 8 or 10 ft. high. If the line of battle was formed at 
Balcairn, then Agricola's right wing might extend to the hill still 
called Craig Roman, where several Roman urns and spears were 
dug up by the proprietor of the ground about 1750 ; and Tacitus 
informs us that the wings of the army consisted of 3000 cavalry. 

" The Caledonians in their retreat northwards over the Guard 
Drums, seemed to have faced about on the summit of each Drum, 
and there to have made a resolute and bloody stand against their 
pursuers. This appears presumable from the number and position 
of the tumili on each of these Drums. It likewise appears from 
the disposition of the tumili along the neighbouring hills that the 
flight of the Caledonians, previous to their final dispersion, was 
principally by two distinct routes, one north-west to the woods of 
Strathardle, and the other north-east to those of Mause, where 
there is also a number of cairns in which Mr Playfair has lately 
dug up cinders and some bits of human bones, and where some 
have thought it probable that Aulus Atticus and some of the 
thirty -three Romans who fell with him were burnt together in one 
funeral pile at the Great Cairn, which is about 80 to 90 yards in 
circumference, and in the centre of which we had occasion to see 
cinders turned up last summer" (1792). 

Much more could be said on this very interesting subject, but 
as space is limited, I must now pass on from Roman to Druidical 
Cairns and Relics, which are even more interesting, and for which 
Strathardle stands pre-eminent over all other districts in Britain 
for the number and variety of its Druidical remains. Chalmers 
in his " Caledonia " says, at page 72 " The number and variety 
of the Druid remains in North Britain are almost endless. The 
principal seat of Druidism seems to have been the recesses of 
Perthshire, near the Grampian range." And again, he says, in a 
note, at page 75 " In Kirkmichael Parish, Strathardle, Perth- 



Sketches of the Early History of Strathardle. 283 

shire, ' the distinguished site of Druid remains in North Britain,' 
there are a number of Druid Cairns in the vicinity of Druidical 
Circles and other remains." 

The Rev. Dr Marshall, in his " Historic Scenes in Perthshire," 
says " Cairns and Druid Circles abound in the Parish of Kirk- 
michael more than in any other of which we have written. It has 
also a Rocking Stone, which was, no doubt, used for the purposes 
of priestcraft." In the Old Statistical Account of the Parish of 
Kirkmichael, by the Rev. Allan Stewart (the famous Maighister 
Allain), we read " In the middle of a pretty extensive and 
heathy moor stands a large heap of stones or cairn, 270 feet in 
circumference, and about 25 feet in height. The stones of which 
it is composed are of various sizes, but none of them, as far as they 
are visible, large, and appear to have been thrown together without 
order. They are in a good measure covered with moss, and in 
some parts overgrown with weeds. Round this cairn are scattered, 
at different distances, a great number of smaller cairns. They are 
generally formed in groups of eight or ten together. About a 
furlong to the west of the great cairn are found vestiges, quite 
distinct, of two concentric circular fences of stones, the outer circle 
being about 50 feet, the inner 32 feet in diameter. There are 
also the vestiges of six, perhaps more, single circular inclosures of 
stone, from 32 to 36 feet in diameter, lying at different distances 
in the neighbourhood of the cairn. Two parallel stone fences 
extend from the east end of the cairn, nearly in a straight line, to 
the southward, upwards of 100 yards. These fences are bounded 
at both extremities by small cairns, and seem to form an avenue 
or approach to the great cairn of 32 feet in breadth. There can 
be but little doubt that all these cairns are reliques of Druidism ; 
that the great cairn is one of these at which they celebrated their 
solemn festivals in the beginning of summer and the beginning of 
winter, when they offered sacrifice, administered justice, &c., and 
that these circles and lesser cairns must have been the scenes of 
some other religious rites, of which the memory and knowledge 
are now lost. Similar cairns are to be seen in the neighbouring 
parishes, but this parish has to boast of a more uncommon and 
remarkable monument of Druidical superstition. About a mile 
north-east from the above-mentioned great cairn, on a flat topped 
eminence, surrounded at some distance with rocky hills of con- 
siderable height, and rocky ascent, stands one of these Rocking 
Stones which the Druids are said to have employed as a kind of 
ordeal for detecting guilt in doubtful cases. This stone is placed 
on the plain surface of a rock level with the ground. Its shape is 



284 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

quadrangular, approaching to the figure of a rhombus, of which 
the greater diagonal is 7 feet,, and the lesser 5 feet. Its mean 
thickness is about 2J feet. Its weight will be about three tons. 
It touches the rock on which it rests only on one line, which is in 
the same line with its lesser diagonal, and its lower surface is. 
convex toward the extremities of the greater diagonal. By pres- 
sing down either of the extreme corners, and withdrawing the 
pressure alternately, a rocking motion is produced, which may be 
increased so much that the distance between their lowest depres- 
sion and highest elevation is a full foot. When the pressure is 
wholly withdrawn the stone will continue to rock till it has made 
26, or more vibrations from one side to the other before it settles 
in its natural position. Both the lower side of the stone and the 
surface of the rock on which it rests appear to be worn and roughed 
by mutual friction. There is every reason to suppose from the 
form and relative situation of the surrounding grounds, that this 
stone must have been placed in its present position by the labour 
of man. It will hardly be thought, therefore, an extravagant 
degree of credulty to refer its origin to the same period with those 
other tribunals of a similar construction mentioned by writers 
who have treated of the customs of the ancient Celts. 

" This opinion is, however, the more confirmed from finding in 
the neighbourhood of this stone a considerable number of other 
Druidical relics. On the north side of the stone, at a distance of 
60 yards, on a small eminence, are two concentric circles, similar 
to that already described, and a single circle adjoining to them on 
the east side. Beyond these, at 45 yards' distance, is a third pair 
of concentric circles, with their adjacent circle on the east side. 
Further on, to the north-east, at a distance of 90 yards, is a single 
circle, and beside it, on the west side, two rectangular enclosures 
of 37 feet by 12 feet. Also a cairn 23 or 24 yards in circum- 
ference, and about 12 feet high in the centre. Several smaller 
cairns are scattered in the neighbourhood. One hundred and 
twenty yards west from the Rocking Stone is a pair of concentric 
circles, with a small single circle beside them of 7 feet in diameter. 
All the pairs of concentric circles are of the same dimensions, the 
inner one being about 32 feet, and the outer about 45 or 46 feet 
in diameter, and all of them having a breach or doorway 4 or 5 
feet wide on the south side. The single circles are, in general, 
from 32 to 36 feet in diameter, and have no breach. The vestiges. 
of all these structures are perfectly distinct, and many of the 
stones still retain the erect posture in which all of them had pro- 
bably been placed at first. 



Sketches of the Early History of St rat hard le. 285 

" Cairns and circles similar to these described are to be found on 
other hills in this parish, particularly between Strathardle and 
Glen Derby. There are likewise several tall, erect stones, called 
here in Gaelic, Crom-leaca or Clach-shleuchda, stones of worship. 
Some of them are five or six feet above ground, and may be sunk 
a considerable way below the surface from their remaining so long 
in the same position, for a superstitious regard is paid them by 
the people, none venturing to remove them, though some of them 
are situated in the middle of corn fields." 

There are also many Druidical cairns and circles on the south 
side of the river Ardle, especially one very large cairn at the foot 
of Benchally, and a little to the south of that large cairn there are 
a great many smaller ones. There are also two immense cairns, 
one at the north-east and another at the south-west extremity of 
the parish of Cluny, which are said to mark the ancient 
boundary between the Caledonian and the Pictish Kingdoms. So 
numerous and extensive are the Druidical remains in Strathardle, 
that they would require an entire paper to do them full justice, so 
I will now leave them and move on to another class of historic 
stones the monoliths, or single standing stones, of which there 
are many in Strathardle. Of these Dr Marshall says in his 
" Historic Scenes, Parish of Kirkmichael" " There are also in 
this parish several monoliths, or single standing stones. The 
inhabitants call them in Gaelic Crom-leaca, or Clach-sleuchda, that 
is being interpreted, stones of worship. This name shows that 
they have been connected in the popular mind with the observance 
of the Druid worship ; and in treating of the religion of the 
Druids in his * History of the Keligious Rites, Ceremonies, and 
Customs of the whole world,' Dr Hurd says 'Sometimes stones 
were set up to perpetuate the memory of the deceased, but more 
commonly a hillock of earth was raised over the grave.' That 
stones were sometimes &et up for this purpose is undoubted, but 
monoliths were more commonly memorial as distinguished from 
sepulchral stones. They were set up to perpetuate the memory of 
certain events which men wished to preserve from falling into 
oblivion. This, however, they failed to do, principally from the 
want of inscriptions on them. In the lapse of time the stones 
and the events they were to hand down to the latest generations 
became dissociated, so that, as Chalmers in his ' Caledonia ' has 
observed, ' they do not answer the end either of personal vanity 
or of national gratitude.' That is quite true, but it was a fact 
well known to those who raised these stones, as we find it beauti- 



286 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

fully alluded to in the poem of ' Dan na Du-thuinn,' in Dr 
Smith's Sean Dana, page 85 : 

' Ach a nis cha chluinnear mo dhan, 

Cha 'n aithnich an t-anrach m' uaigh ; 

Chi e leac ghlas, is cuiseag ga codach', 

Feoruichidh co d' an uaigh i. 

Cha 'n aithne dhuinne, their claim a ghlinne, 

Cha d'innis an dan a chliu dhuinn.' 

'Now, there wont be heard the song of my fame, 

The stranger will not know my grave ; 

He will see a grey stone with ragweed o'ergrown. 

And he will ask whose grave is this 1 

We know not, the children of the. glen will say, 

The song has not carried down his fame to our day.' 

There are three very fine monoliths in the upper part of the 
glen, in the parish of Moulin, one on the farm of Cottartown of 
Straloch, another at Tulloch, and one at Ennochdhu, besides the 
one at Ardle's grave. The stones at Tulloch and Ennochdhu are 
memorials of the great battle of Ennochdhu, fought between the 
Strathardle men and the Danes at a very early date. I have 
never yet been able to ascertain the exact date of this battle or to 
find any distinct notice of it in any of our old historical records. 
Many incursions by the Danes into the districts of Angus and 
Gowrie are recorded, but as the sites of the battles are not always 
mentioned, it is difficult to find out on which occasion this battle 
took place ; but, though it must have been at a very remote 
period, the tradition of the district about it is still very distinct. 
The hero Ardle is always said to have been the eldest of three 
brothers, each of which gave his name to the district over which 
he ruled Ard-f hull, high or noble blood, to Strathardle ; Ath- 
f huil, next or second blood, to Athole ; and Teth-f huil, hot blood, 
to Strath Tummel. The latter's hot blood was the cause of his 
death, for wishing to cross the river Tummel on some hot-blooded 
expedition with a band of followers in winter, they found the 
river in very high flood, with great quantities of large blocks of 
ice floating down, and they all saw it was impossible to cross 
except Teth-f huil, whose hot blood neither ice nor water could cool, 
so he dashed in to swim across, but the ice knocked him under, 
and he was drowned, so the river and the Strath took their 
name from him. If Ardle was really Athole's brother, then they 
must have lived at a very early age, as Athole is the earliest 
district mentioned in Scottish history. In fact, if we are to 



fetches of the Early History of Strathard/e. 287 

believe the old Irish annals, as given in the ancient books of 
Ballymote and Lecain, Athole was only tenth in direct descent 
from Noah ! He was one of the sons of Cruithne, the first king of 
the Picts. Skene, in his Chronicles of the Picts and Scots, page 
24, gives the following account of the origin of the Picts from 
these ancient records. (The Book of Ballimote was written in 
1391, and is a copy of the works of Gillacaemhin, who died in 
1072) : 

" De Bunadh Cruitlmeach andseo. 

Cruithne mac Cinge, mic Luchtai, mic Parrthalan, mic Agnoinn, 

mic Buain, mic Mais, mic Fathecht, mic lafeth, Mic Noe. Ise 

athair Cruithneach, agus cet bliadhna do irrighe. 

Secht meic Cruithneach annso i. 

Fib, Fidach, FODLA, Fortrend cathach, Cait, Ce, Cirigh. Et secht 
randaibh ro roindset in fearand, ut dixit Columcille. 

Mhoirsheiser do Cruithne clainn, 
Kaindset Albain i secht raind 
Cait, Ce, Cirig, cethach clann 
Fib, Fidach FOTLA, Fortrenn. 

Ocus is e ainm gach fir dib fil for a fearand ut est, Fib, agus Ce, 
agus Cait, agus reliqua." 

Of the Origin of the Cruthneach here. 

Cruithne, son of Cinge, son of Luctai, son of Partalan, son of 

Agnoin, son of Buan, son of Mais, son of Fathecht, son of Jafeth, 

son of Noe. He was the father of the Cruithneach, and reigned 

a hundred years. 

These are the seven sons of Cruithne, viz. : 

Fib, Fidach, FODLA, Fortrend, warlike, Ceit, Ce, Cirig ; and they 
divided the land into seven divisions, as Columcille says : 

Seven children of Criithne 
Divided Alban into seven divisions, 
Cait, Ce, Cirig, a warlike clan, 
Fib, Fidach, FOTLA, Fortreri. 

And the name of each man is given to their territories, as Fib, 
Ce, Cait, and the rest. 

Fodla and Fotla are the spellings given here ; in the Annals of 
Tighernac, in the year 739, it is At/if oithle, and in the Annals of 
Ulster for the same year it is Atfoithle. If the tradition that 



288 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Ardle and Tummul were brothers of Athole's (or Fotla) be correct, 
then, no doubt, if they had not come to an untimely death before 
" the great divide," they would have each received a large slice of 
Scotland as well as their brothers. 

Previous to the death of Ardle, the strath was called Srath 
MOT na Muice Brice the Great Strath of the Spotted or Brindled 
Sow. This famous sow, like Diarmad's wild boar in Glenshee, had 
ravaged the district for a long time, and had her den at Sron-na- 
muice, the Sow's Rock. In the old Statistical Account of Kirk- 
michael we read : " According to tradition, Strath Ardle was 
anciently called in Gaelic Strath-na-muice-brice, the strath of the 
spotted wild sow, which name it is said to have retained till the 
time of the Danish invasions, when, in a battle fought between the 
Danes and the Caledonians, at the head of the country, a chief 
named Ard-fhuil, (High or Noble Blood) was killed, whose grave 
is shown to this day. From him the country got the name of 
Strath Ard-fhuil, Strathardle." Ardle's grave is at the back of 
the village of Ennochdhu, close to the entrance lodge of Dirnanean. 
It is sixteen feet long, as both Ardle and his faithful henchman, 
who fell with him, are buried in it, with their feet towards each 
other. There is a large stone at Ardle's head, and a lesser one at 
the henchman's. According to tradition, when the Danes marched 
up the strath, Ardle and his men posted themselves on the round 
hill of Tulloch, and awaited their approach. As soon as the 
Danes reached the foot of the hill, the Highlanders rushed down 
on them, and a fierce battle began at the Standing Stone of 
Tulloch. After a time, the Danes were driven back to the Stand- 
ing Stone of Ennochdhu, the Black Moor, where the fight raged 
hottest, and the issue seemed doubtful, till Ardle led a fierce 
charge on one wing of the enemy, and drove all before him ; and, 
as they turned and fled eastward, he pursued them too eagerly, 
as he left all his men behind him, and, supported only by his 
faithful henchman, rushed in amongst his foes, who, seeing only 
two men, suddenly turned, and, surrounding them, cut them to 
pieces, at the spot where they are buried, before his men could 
come to their assistance. The slain Scots were buried at the 
Standing Stone of Ennochdhu, and the dead Danes were thrown 
into the Lag-ghlas, the Grey Hollow, a round hollow in the wood 
at the back of Ennochdhu ; and my uncle has told me that when 
the wood there was planted, the workmen, in making pits for the 
trees, turned up quantities of very much decayed bones and 
pieces of old metal, which were supposed to be the remains of the 
slain Danes, and their arms. 



Sketches of the Early History of Strathardte. 289 

I must now pass on from these ancient memorial cairns and 
stones to other historic stones and cairns, of which there are many 
in the district ; and I may begin at the head of Glen Brierachan, 
with the famous " Gled Stone" Clach-a-chlamhain, so called from 
its being a favourite perching place for the gled or kite hawk. Its 
legend is given in the following note from the People's Journal of 
Feb. 28th, 1 885 : " Pitlochry. Singular Legend of a Boulder. 
At a meeting of the Edinburgh Geological Society, held on Thurs- 
day, the Chairman read a notice of the ' Gled Stane' and other 
boulders near Pitlochry, Perthshire. The * Gled Stane,' he said, 
was a large boulder of mica-schist, situated about a quarter of a 
mile to the west of the road between Pitlochry and Straloch, at a 
height of 1100 feet r.bove the sea, on a moor near Dalnacarn farm- 
house. A singular legend was attached to this boulder, viz., that 
it gave its name to the Gladstone family, an infant having, it was 
said, been found there by a shepherd, who took it to his wife to be 
nursed." So that Strathardle has a claim on the Grand Old Man 
himself. 

The farm of Dal-nan-carn, field of cairns, here mentioned, is 
also an historic spot, and took its name from the cairns raised over 
the slain in the great clan battle fought there in 1391 between the 
Clan Donnachaidh, or Robertsons, and the Lindsays of Glenesk, 
after the famous raid of Angus, which will be noticed when we 
come to that date. 

We next cross the hills to Glenloch to Cumming's Cairn, and 
the famous Leac-na-diollaid, or Saddle Stone, both of which I will 
afterwards notice in connection with the Cummings at the proper 
date, but I may here mention the very curious tradition connected 
with the Saddle Stone, vi^., that if any lady who was not blessed 
with children made a pilgrimage to Glenloch, and sat on the Saddle 
Stone, she would in due time become the happy mother of a large 
family ! So firmly was this believed, that well on in the present 
century pilgrims from all parts of Scotland visited the famous 
Leac-na-diollaid. 

Coming down Glen Fernate, we come at the bottom of that 
glen to another famous stone, the Clach Mor, or Big Stone, an 
immense boulder, which tradition also connects with the Cum- 
mings. Some years ago, a very learned and worthy clergyman 
gave me a long account of how the huge boulder, which is of a 
different kind of stone from any of the rocks found in the neigh- 
bourhood, must have been floated here, in the early glacial ages of 
the world, from distant lands, embedded in immense icebergs, and 
got stranded here. When he was done I rather shocked him by 

19 



290 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

giving my version of how it came there, which, as it is the old 
tradition of the country, no doubt the Gaelic Society will prefer to 
the learned divine's scientific theory. Well, as the story goes, 
when the Cummings were lords of Badenoch, and ruled there with 
a rod of iron, centuries ago, the great Comyn proposed to build a 
castle there so strong that no human power could take it, so 
instead of employing -masons to build it, he engaged a famous 
Badenoch witch, who, for a great reward, agreed to carry the 
stones in her apron, and to build an impregnable castle. Her first 
proceeding was to hunt up two enormous boulders of equal size and 
shape for door posts for the outer gate, but after searching all 
Scotland, no two such stones could be got, equal matches, and she 
was in despair till on her midnight rambles she met a sister witch 
from the Isle of Man, that famous stronghold of witchcraft, and 
all sorts of " dealings wi' the deil," who told her of two such stones 
on the hills of Man. Next night she started for the Isle of Man, 
and having got one of the stones in her apron, she started north- 
wards for Badenoch on a clear moonlight night. As she was 
passing where the stone now lies, a famous hunter who lived there 
was coming home from the Athole Forest with a deer on his back, 
and seeing such a great black mass flying through the air, he 
uttered the exclamation Dhia gleidh mis God preserve me. 
The moment he littered the Holy Name it broke the witch's 
power, and her apron string at the same time, so down the stone 
fell, and there it lies to this day, as she could never get another 
apron string strong enough to carry it, or even lighter stones. So 
the Comyns' Castle never went further, and ever since, on the 
anniversary of that night, the witch returns, and spends the night 
trying to move the Clach Mhor, so that the good folks of the glen 
used to give such an uncanny spot a wide berth after dark. This 
stone stands 20 feet above ground, and is 74 feet in circumference, 
and calculated to weigh nearly 1000 tons. 

The next notable stone is another Clack Mor, or big stone, and 
I think it well deserves the name, as it is 22 feet high, 25 feet 
wide, and 51 feet long, quite flat on the top and covered with long- 
heather. It lies at the foot of Kindrogan Rock, or, as it was 
anciently called, Craig Chiocha the PapJRock from the rounded 
form of its western shoulder. In olden times, when wolves were 
common in Strathardle, and when they had their dens and reared 
their young in the great cairn there, this stone was a famous place 
for killing wolves, on the clear moonlight winter nights, when the 
young men of the district lay in ambush in perfect security 
amongst the long heather on its top, and shot the wolves with 



Sketches of the Early History of Strathardle. 291 

their bows and arrows, as they ran past on the scent of some 
-carcase which the hunters trailed along the ground past the stone 
during the day. 

There is another place, a few hundred yards further up, on the 
west shoulder of Kindrogan Rock, wh'ich was another famous 
place for killing wolves, where a ravine, or gully, runs down the 
face of the hill to the foot of the rock. On the ridge on the low 
side of this ravine, there is still seen a circular pit, now partly 
fallen in, and covered with moss, which was dug and used for a 
place of ambush to lie in wait for the wolves as they came up this 
pass in the morning, making for the hills, after prowling all night 
in the district. The Laird of Kindrogan had got a very valuable 
mare as part of his wife's tocher, and as fodder was scarce in 
spring, the mare was turned out to feed on the hill-side, where she 
was killed and partly devoured by wolves in this ravine. Before 
next night the carcase was drawn within shot of the pit, and two 
renowned hunters lay in wait, and shot the two wolves when they 
returned to feed, in memory of which the place is still called 
" Clais-chapuill" the Mare's Ravine. The wolves' cubs were 
.afterwards found, in the deep cairn on " Creag Mhadaidh" the 
Wolf's Rock near Loch Curran, which got its name from being a 
famous breeding-place for wolves, as it still is for foxes. 

So numerous and destructive were the wolves in Strathardle, 
'Glenshee, and Glenisla, that all tenants were bound by their leases 
to keep a pair of hounds for hunting the wolf and fox. In a lease 
..granted in 1552 by Abbot Donald Campbell, of Cu par- Angus 
Abbey, to Donald Ogilvie, of the " haill toun and landis of Newton 
of Bellite, half of Freuchy and one quarter of Glenmerky," he was 
bound to have a pair of good hounds and a pair of sleuth-hounds, 
" and sail nwrice ane leiche of gud houndis, with ane cuppill of 
rachis, for tod and wolf, and salbe reddy at all times qnhene we 
charge them to pas with us or our bailzies to the hountis." Many 
other leases with similar conditions could be given. 

The wolves of Ben Bhuirich, at the head of Glen Fernate, were 
reckoned the largest and most ferocious of all, and Colonel 
Robertson, in his " Historical Proofs of the Highlanders," says that 
that mountain took its name from the roaring of its wolves. This 
is also mentioned in " Gran nani Bsann," one of the most ancient 
poems known in Athole : 

" Chith mi Boinn Ghlo nan eag, 
Beinn Bheag, 's Argiod Bheanu, 
Beinn Bhuirich nani Mhndadh Mor, 
'S Allt-a-nid-an-eun ri tiiobh." 



292 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

I see Ben Ghlo of the pointed tops, 

Ben Bheag and Argiod Bheann, 

Ben Bhuirich of the great wolves, 

And the Brook of the Bird's Nest by its side. 

But to return to our historic stones. The next is the " Clach 
nam Barain" the Baron's Stone at Balvarron, the home for 
several generations of that famous old Strathardle family, the 
" Barons Ruadh" the Barons Reid or Robertson of Straloch 
and Inverchroskie, four generations of whom were born at Bal- 
varron, and each young Baron was baptised with water out of a 
circular hole or basin hewn out of this stone, a new hole being 
made for each Baron. There are four such basins cut in it, and 
there would have been many more, tradition informs us, if the 
parents of the last Baron had not, in their pride, despised the rude- 
baptismal font of the family, and got their heir baptised out of a 
silver basin. "And there were no more Barons," as he had an 
only daughter. This last Baron was the famous General Reid or 
Robertson, one of Stratbardle's most illustrious sons, the composer 
of " The Garb of Old Gaul," and founder of a Chair of Music in 
Edinburgh University. He died in 1803. The Baron's Stone is 
a great block of granite, and it is situated on the rising ground a 
little above the stables at Balvarron House. Some years ago it 
had a very narrow escape from being blown to pieces, through the 
ignorance of a local worthy, who was employed blasting stones for 
building purposes. " A stone was just a stone to him, and it was 
nothing more," so thinking this huge boulder a grand prize, he 
bored a hole in it, and had begun filling in the powder, when the 
late proprietor happened to come that way, and at once put a stop* 
to such an act of vandalism. 

The next notable stone is the great boulder in the river Ardle,. 
in the pool formed by the croy that sends the water to the Black 
Mill. According to tradition, this stone makes three distinct 
jumps up the stream every time the cock crows in the morning. 
So firmly was this believed, that old people have assured me that 
they remember it much further down the stream than it now is.. 
I have never been able to learn anything about the origin of this 
very curious belief of the supernatural movement up the stream 
of this huge boulder, or of its connection with the crowing of the 
cock. The top of this stone was also a famous haunt of the water 
kelpie, especially when the water was in high flood. I have known 
old people who would not upon any account pass this stone after 
dark, for fear of the kelpie. It was altogether a place of evil 
repute, and as such the whole of its surroundings got the name 



Sketches of the Early History of Strathardle. 293 

of dubh black attached to them. The water itself here was 
called Dour-Dubh, or Black-Water ; the hill on the north side 
Dunie-Dubh, the Black Hillock ; and the mill on the south side, 
the Moulin-Dubh, or Black Mill. I have noticed in the 
topography of Strathardle, that in all cases, and there are many, 
where the adjective dubh black is added to place-names, there 
has always some bloody deed been done there a battle, or murder, 
or a lot of slain buried there which gave the place an evil repute 
in these superstitious times. This will be noticed as we go along. 

We have already seen that Dal-nan-carn, at the head of Glen 
Brierachan, got its name from the cairus raised over the slain 
in the great clan battle of 1391. We now come to another Dal- 
nan-carn, at Kirkmichael, which got its name from cairns of a 
different nature. I may give the story as told by Dr Marshall in 
his "Historic Scenes in Perthshire": "A large cairn called 
Carn-na-baoibh, used to stand a little to the north of the village 
of Kirkmichael. It was the sepulchre of a fairy lady. She was 
one of the bad class of that order of beings, and 
did much mischief in the strath. At length a great mortality 
took place among the cattle in it. This was universally imputed 
to her malignant influence ; and with one voice the Strathardalttes 
passed judgment on her she must die. We have not fallen in 
with any authentic account of how they managed to catch and 
kill her ; but they must have managed to do so somehow, for she 
was buried at the spot to which we are now pointing, and Carn-na- 
baoibh was raised over her. At a comparatively recent date, the 
laird of the ground on which the cairn stood was in want of stones 
for drains which he had cut in it. It was suggested to him by a 
gentleman of the cloth, who must have had very little reverence 
for the traditions of the fathers in the strath, that he need not be 
in a strait for stones as long as such a mass of them was at hand. 
He ventured to make free with the cairn, and ere his draining 
operations were completed not one stone was left. No remains of 
the fairy were found ; and we are rather surprised that we have 
never heard of her race taking some marked revenge on the laird 
for demolishing her tomb." 

The tradition, as I have always heard it, of how they managed 
to discover and kill her was as follows : One of her favourite 
amusements was to attend all social gatherings, funerals, and 
places of worship in an invisible state, and when everything was 
going on quietly, she gave a smart slap on the cheek to one here, 
and a dig with a large needle to another there, and as they could 
not see her, they very naturally concluded that it was their nearest 



294 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

neighbours who had done it, aijd at once struck them in return,, 
so that every meeting ended in a free fight. Things went on this- 
way for a long time, getting worse and worse, till an old tailor at 
last discovered by accident tte cause of all the disturbance. 
Having to wait rather long one morning for the coming of the 
clergyman, the tailor amused himself with his shears, which he 
had brought in his pocket ; and happening to catch them by the 
blades, and holding up the handles, and looking through the finger- 
holes, like spectacles, he to his great astonishment at once saw 
the Baobh going about her usual wicked pranks. However, he 
had the shrewdness to keep to himself what he saw, till after the 
service, when he informed the priest, who told him to tell no one, 
but to come back next Sunday, and take his shears with him. The 
tailor promised to do so ; but alas ! it was just the old, old story 
woman's wiles beguiled him ; for he was so excited when he went 
home that his wife at once saw that something unusual 
had happened him. So in a very short time she had fished 
it all out of him, and in a shorter time had told 
all her gossips ; and it became so public that the Baiobh 
herself came to get an inkling that she was discovered, 
and, in revenge, killed nearly all the cattle in the country that 
week. Next Sunday, the priest put a bottle of holy water in one 
pocket, and the tailor's shears in the other, and began the service. 
After a little, he took a sly peep through the finger holes of the 
shears, and saw the Baobh present. He at once stopped the 
service, and telling the people to follow him, he pursued her. She 
took to the hill for a little, and then sat down on a stone, to let 
them pass, as she thought she was still invisible. However, the 
priest, looking through the shears, saw her on the stone, and 
pulling out his holy water, he made a circle round the stone and 
her, out of which it was impossible for her to get. He then set 
the people to gather stones, and pile them over her, which they 
did with right good will. She pleaded hard for mercy, and even 
after the stones were high over her head, she offered the priest to 
turn all the stones in the cairn into gold, if he would only release 
her ; but, to the honour of the clergy of Kirkmichael, he refused 
this very tempting addition to his stipend, and only answered her 
by calling to the people "Cuiribh oirre, cuiribh oirre, clach air's6ii 
gach mairt." (Put on her, put on her, a stone for every cow she 
killed). 

Having got the Baobh in safe keeping under her great cairn, 
we will now go some miles down the Strath, to another similar 
cairn, also built over the grave of another wicked female being, 



Sketches of the Early History of Strathardle. 295 

t of a different class a mermaid. Strathardle seems in olden 
times to have been a favourite haunt of all kinds of these super- 
natural beings, belonging to both land and water. I will quote 
this st;ory from a series of articles which appeared some years ago 
in " The Blairgowrie News," from the pen of a worthy laird in the 
Strath, who knows, perhaps, more of the old legendary lore of 
Strathardle than any other individual now living : " On Bal-na- 
bruich hill stands a cairn of immense magnitude called Carn-liadh, 
the Grey Cairn, the origin of which, according to tradition, was 
thus : A loch on the contiguous estate of Dalrulzion, belonging 
to the same proprietor, was the haunt of a mermaid, which 
occasionally visited the lower part of the Strath, but never with- 
out, committing damage. Her depredations became insupportable, 
and the inhabitants being in terror of her visits, various fruitless 
attempts were made to capture and conquer her, with a view of 
putting a stop to her ravages. Ultimately, a famous dog named 
Bran, belonging to the Fingalians, was let loose on her at the 
village of Kirkmichael, and, after an exciting chase and a fierce 
encounter, overpowered and killed her where the cairn lies. In 
olden times many curious and incredible stories were current 
amongst the people of the Strath regarding the doings of this 
fabulous being. The loch said to have been her abode was by no 
means of a lovely appearance, and its banks were very unsafe for 
people walking on them, being liable to give way. It is about a 
mile distant from Dalrulzion House, and is now a handsome loch, 
its surroundings having been greatly improved by the proprietor. 
Its Gaelic name is Loch-Mhairich, the Mermaid's Loch. According 
to the traditional exp anation, the cairn referred to w*as obviously 
reared to mark the spot of the mermaid's grave, with the object of 
preventing the return of sea monsters to the district. The 
accumulation of such an enormous pile of stones principally large 
boulders must have been the work of many men and horses 
The cairn has recently been considerably diminished in size by the 
removal of stones for the building of fences, &c. On Tuesday, 
26th September, 1865, it was visited by Mr Stewart, ,the secretary 
of the Antiquarian Society of Edinburgh, accompanied by the 
Lairds of Woodhill, Blackcraig, and Ballintiiim, and many other 
gentlemen, and about a score workmen were engaged to turn over 
the old cairn. Mr Stewart superintended the work for two days, 
and all were eager to find some relics of the ancient Druidical 
worship, which, it was anticipated, would be brought to light. 
The result, however, was not very gratifying, the relics found con- 
sisting chiefly of stones used for weights and for grinding meal in 



296 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

those days. The circumstances above stated regarding the pursuit 
and conquest of the mermaid by the dog Bran gave the name 
Pitvran Gaelic, Pitbhran to the whole face of the hill from 
Kirkmichael to the Cally boundaries, and the memorial gave name 
to the loch alluded to." 

We will now cross the hills to Glenshee, to a stone connected 
with still another kind of female spirit the Clach-na-narriche, or 
Serpent Stone of Inveredrie, of which Dr Marshall says " On the 
lands of Inveredrie, on the north side of Loch Bainne, is a wonder- 
ful stone called Clach-na-narriche, or the Serpents Stone. The 
explanation of the name is this : One of the Lairds of Inveredrie 
had a familiar spirit, through whose favour and influence ho pros- 
pered remarkably in everything to which he put his hand. His 
prosperity was the admiration and envy of the whole neighbour- 
hood. In process of time a misunderstanding took place between 
him and his familiar. The laird had a child that died, and he 
blamed the familiar for its death. She (the familiar was of the 
female sex) took the imputation very much amiss, but he persisted 
in it, denounced her, and forbade her to appear in his presence. 
One day they met by the side of Loch Bainne, at the above stone, 
and renewed the contention between them as to the death of the 
child, and it waxed very violent. The laird's Highland blood 
rose to the boiling point, and he drew his sword to run it through 
his familiar. In an instant she transformed herself into a serpent 
and darted into the heart of the stone by a hole which no instru- 
ment could have made such were the turns and curves in it ! 
The laird in his towering passion, hacked at the stone with his 
sword, and left marks on it which, it is said, may be traced to this 
day. When he was going away his familiar spoke out of the hole 
she had made in the stone, saying ' As long as you look at your 
cradle, arid I look at my stone, we may speak and crack, but we 
will never be friends.' " 

Now that we have gone over the principal historic stones in 
the district, and landed in lone Glenshee, we will leave these graves 
of supernatural beings and turn to the grave of a famous lady of 
the human race who, along with her husband, made Glenshee a 
noted spot fiom the earliest ages. This was the beautiful Grainne 
and her beloved Diarmid Donn, who lost his life hunting the boar 
on Ben Ghuilbuinn, at the head of Glenshee. Dr Marshall's 
version is as follows : " As far back as the days of Fingal there 
was a great hunt on Ben Ghuilbuinn at the head of the Glen. It 
was the wild boar that was hunted. It had long abounded in 
these wilds and disputed the sovereignty of them with man. The 



Sketches of the Early History of Strathardle. 297 

hunt to which we refer is specially memorable, because it was in 
connection with it that Diarxnid, one of Fingal's heroes, lost his 
life. He fell the victim of a stratagem of his master, at the 
impulse of one of the basest of passions. Grainne, Diarmid's wife, 
was a very beautiful woman, and Fingal loved her too well. 
Diarmid stood between him and his wishes, but might he 
not be got out of the way? Fingal thought that he might. 
His dispositions for the great boar hunt he made accordingly. 
He set Diarmid, with his two dogs, in the most dangerous place, 
in the hope that the infuriated creature, as the hunters closed on 
it, would set upon him and tear him to pieces. It did attack 
him ; he hurled his spear at it, which stuck in its body. Seizing 
the weapon and putting forth all his strength to wrench it out, it 
broke. He then drew his sword, cleaved the boar's head with it, 
and killed it. 

Fingal was bitterly disappointed. Uriah still stood between 
him and Bathsheba. He next set Diarmid to measure the carcass 
of the boar. He did so from the head to the rump, but that was 
not enough. He must do it again, and from the rump to the 
head, in the hope that the bristles of the animal might pierce his 
foot and poison and destroy him. In this the murderer succeeded. 
Diarmid was wounded by the bristles in the foot, and the wound 
festered and proved mortal. Still Fingal was baffled of his 
purpose. Diarmid's wife must have been as loving as she was 
beautiful. She could not survive him. She died forthwith of a 
broken heart. This was the end of Diarmid, and the story, as we 
have told it, must have been known and accepted in Glenshee at 
a very early period. It gave to several places the names w r hich 
they bear to this day, and which they have borne from time 
immemorial. Such is the spring called Tobar-nam-Fiann^ that is, 
the fountain of the Fingalians the well from which they drank 
at the hunt, and it may be, on other occasions. Such is the spot 
on Beinn Ghuilbuinn, called the Boar's Bed, that is, the place 
which it made its lair. Such is the loch called Lock-an-Tuirc, that 
is, the Boar's Loch. The boar was killed near this loch, and its 
body was dragged and cast into it. So likewise was a magic cup 
belonging to Fingal. That cup possessed such virtue that who- 
ever got a draught from it was cured of whatever disease he had. 
And least Diarmid should, after his wound, get a draught from it 
and recover, the cup was thrown into the loch. Such, moreover, 
is Diarmid's grave, to which his comrades committed his dust, 
laying his loving and beloved wife beside him, and his two dogs, 
which likewise died of their wounds." 



298 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

There are none of our ancient poems of which there are so 
many different versions as of this of Diarmid ; however, they all 
agree that the hunt took place on Ben Ghulbuinn. 

James Grant in his " Thoughts on the Origin and Descent of 
the Gael," says A poem called ' ; Bas Dhiarmid," or the death of 
Dermid, was till late well known in the Highlands. As handed 
down it is extremely fabulous and inconsistent, and can lay no 
claim to poetical merit. However corrupted in all the editions we 
have heard repeated, it is expressed that both Dermid and Grana 
died in the .hunting ground where the boar of Ben Ghuilbuinn was 
killed by Dermid, and that both were buried hard by one another. 
It bears genuine intrinsic marks of remote antiquity. It makes 
mention of the Druids, and intimates their prescience of future 
events ; and it mentions the elk, an animal not known in Britain 
for many ages : 

Gleanii Sith, an gleann seo tha ri m' thaobh, 
Far 'm bu lionmhoir guth feidh 's loin, 
Gleann an trie an robh an Fhianii, 
An ear 's iar an deigh nan con. 

An gleann sin fos Beinn Ghuilbuinn ghuirm 

'S aileadh tulachan tha fo'n ghrein, 

Is trie bha na sruthan dearg 

An deigh na Fiann bhi sealg an fheidh. 

Glen Shee, that glen by my side, 
Where oft is heard the voice of deer and elk, 
That glen where oft the Fiann have roved, 
East and west after their dogs. 

That glen below Ben Gulbin green 

Of the most beautiful hillocks under the sun, 

Often were thy streams dyed red 

After the Fiann hunted the deer. 

We will now leave the dim mythical ages of remote antiquity, 
and come down to events recorded in history, which will be 
arranged in chronological order. 

729. In this year the great Angus M'Fergus, King of the 
Southern Picts, advanced against the Northern Picts of Athole, 
and a great battle was fought between them on the hill of 
Blathvalg, between Strathardle and Athole, at the back of Loch 
Broom. The battle took place on the height called Druim Dearg 
Red Ridge or as it is sometini3S called the Lamh Dearg Red 



Sketches of the Early History of Strathardle. 299> 

Hand. The Athole men were defeated with great slaughter, and 
Drust, their King, slain. The dead were all gathered and thrown 
into the small loch there called the Lochan Dubh Black Loch- - 
which took its name from that event, and to this day it is sup- 
posed to be haunted by the ghosts of these ancient dead. It is a 
place of such evil repute that nobody cares to pass that way, and 
I well remember when a boy how carefully I kept away from it 
even in daylight when alone. The only one of consequence who* 
fell on Angus M 'Fergus' side was his favourite bard, who had 
ventured too far amongst the enemy when pouring forth his 
Brosnacha-cath, or Song of War, to encourage on his clan to battle, 
which was the duty of bards in those days. His body was not 
thrown into the Lochan Dubh, but was buried on a round heathy 
hillock in the great corrie which runs down from Blathvalg into- 
Glenderby, and which to this day is called Coire-a-bkaird the 
Bards' Corrie. This battle is recorded in the Annals of Tighernac : 
" 729. Oath Droma Derg Blathmig etir Piccardaibh i Dtuist agus 
Aeugus Hi Piccardach agus ro marbadh Drust andsin la dara la 
deg do mi Aughuist." The Battle of the Red Ridge of Blathmig 
between the Piccardach, that is, Drust and Angus, King of the 
Piccardach, and Drust was slain there, on the twelfth day of the 
month of August. 

In the Annals of Ulster it is recorded in Latin instead of 
Gaelic: "729. Bellum Drdmaderggblathnig in regionbus Pictorum 
inter Oengus et Drust regem Pictorum et cecidit Drust." Though 
victorious in this great battle, Angus did not finally subdue Athole 
for other ten years, when he overthrew and drowned another King 
of Athole, as recorded in the Annals of Tighernac : 

" 739 Talorcan mac Drostan Rex Athfhotla a bathadh le 
h-Aengus." 

Talorcan, the son of Drostan, King of Athole, drowned by 
Angus. 

This Angus M 'Fergus was the greatest of all the Pictish kings,, 
and subdued all opponents, and united the Northern and Southern 
Picts. He reigned for 30 years, and died in 761. 

806. In this year Constantine M'Fergus, the grandson of Angus 
M'Fergus, founded Dunkeld as the seat of the primacy of the 
Scottish Church. In the Pictish Chronicle we read 

" Constantin Fitz Fergusa xl. annz. Cesti fist edifer Dun- 
keldyn." 

Constantin M'Fergus reigned forty years. He caused Dunkeld 
to be built. 



300 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Col. Robertson, in his " Historical Proofs," says: "The Register 
of St Andrews even, admits the foundation of Dunkeld by King 
Constantine, which, coming from a quarter that was jealous of all 
other churches, is strong confirmation of its truth ; and as the 
district of Athole and country near Dunkeld was then in the 
Crown, by the conquest of its provincial rulers by Angus 
M 'Fergus, King Constantine had it in his power largely to endow 
his church, and place it also where it must have been considered 
safe from the heathen plunderers." 

Amongst the lands with which Constantine endowed Dunkeld 
were the whole barony of Cally, the lands of Persie and Ashmore, 
and the whole stretch of country from there to Dunkeld, which 
continued to be the property of the Bishops of Dunkeld till the 
Reformation. 

In later times there was a monastery and a nunnery at Bridge 
of Call}' in connection with Dunkeld. This connection with the 
church gave their names to many of the places in Strathardle. 
Cally itself is derived from Caillach, a nun, and the full name of 
it is Lagan-dubh-chaillichj the Hollow of the Black Nuns ; 
Rochallie comes from Ruith-chaillich, the Nuns' Sheiling ; Ben- 
challie and Loch Benchallie are Beinn Chaillich and Loch Beinn 
Chaillich, the Nuns Mountain and Loch ; Blackcraig, in full, 
is Craig-dubh-chaillich, the Rock of the Black Nuns. There was 
also the Monks' Mill near Bridge of Cally. 

In 903, the Pictish Chronicle tells us. the Danes laid waste 
Dunkeld and all Alban. Possibly it was then the battle of 
Ennochdhu was fought. 

About 1005, in the reign of King Malcolm II., Kirkmichael 
gave the title of Abthane to Crinan, Abbot of Dunkeld, who had 
married the King's daughter, Bethoc or Beatrice. This title of 
Abthane is peculiar to Scotland, as no trace of it is found in any 
other country, and only three in Scotland. In the article on 
Malcolm II. in the " Scottish Nation," we read : " Malcolm's 
daughter Bethoc married Crinan, Abbot of Dunkeld, and this 
marriage gave a long line of Kings to Scotland, ending with 
Alexander III. Their son Duncan succeeded his maternal grand- 
father on the throne, and was the ' gracious Duncan' murdered 
by Macbeth. 

" Crinan is styled by Fordun Abthanus de Dull ac Seneschallus 
Insularum. The title of Abthane seems to have belonged to an 
abbot who possessed a thanedom. It .was peculiar to Scotland, 
-and only three Abthaneries are named in ancient records, viz., 
those of Dull in Athole, Kirkmichael in Strathardle, and Madderty 



Sketches of the Early History of Strathardle. 301 



in Strathern. The three thanedoms mentioned seem to have been 
vested in the Crown, and were conferred by King Edgar on his 
younger brother Ethelred, who was Abbot of Dunkeld. On Ethel- 
red's death they reverted to the Crown." 

Dr M'Lauchlan says in his " Early History of the Scottish 
Church" : " Malcolm II. had a peculiar interest in Dunkeld, his. 
daughter Bethoc having married Crinan the Abbot. This Crinan 
was head of the Athole fariiily, this including in his own person 
both the civil and the ecclesiastical authority of the Athole 
district. Crinan engaged in war, raising troops, as we find, on 
behalf of his grandchildren, and was slain on the battlefield." 

Crinan was Abthane of Kirkmichael, and as both spiritual and 
temporal leader, was followed by the Strathardle men in this, his 
dire hour of need, when he fought and fell fighting against the 
"Bloody Macbeth" to win back the kingdom for his grandson, the 
famous Malcolm Canmore. How well and bravely Crinan-Crinan's, 
Athole, and Strathardle men fought on that day is proved by the 
fact that their fame spread beyond even the limits of their own 
kingdom to the remote parts of Ireland, as we find recorded in the 
old annals of Tighernac : 

" 1045. Cath etir Albancho araenrian cur marbadh andsin 
Crinan Ab. Duincalland agus sochaighe maille fris. i. nae XX. 
laech." 

Battle between the Albanich, on both sides, in which Crinan, 
Abbot of Dunkeld, was slain there and many with him, viz., nine 
times twenty heroes. 

The fall of Crinan enabled Macbeth 
years, till Malcolm, again assisted by 
marched from the wood of Birnam to the Hill of Dunsinane, and 
defeated Macbeth, as told by Skakespeare ; and three months after 
slew his son Lulac in Strathbogie, and so firmly seated himself on 
the throne in 1057. 

After being securely seated on the throne, Malcolm Canmore 
kept up a close connection with the Abthauedom of Kirkmichael, 
where he built the old Castle of Whitefield as a hunting seat, from 
where he followed the chase in the surrounding royal forests of 
Athole, Mar, Alyth, Bleaton, Cluny, <fec. 

Whitefield is a modern name, the old name and that still used 
in Gaelic being Morchloich the Castle of the Big Stone from a 
large boulder on an eminence in the vicinity. This castle after- 
wards passed into the possession of a branch of the Clan Spalding 
of Ashiutully. It is now a a fine old ruin. 



to reign another dozen 
the Strathardle men, 



302 Gaelic Society of Jnuerness. 

In 1033, when Thorfmn, the Danish Earl of Caithness, defeated 
and slew King Malcolm, and subdued and overran the whole north 
of Scotland as far south as Fife ; the only districts north of the 
Forth which he did not conquer were Athole and Strathardle. 

As we have now followed the History of Strathardle for a 
thousand years, and are now entering on modern history, I will 
leave the remainder for another paper. 



8th MAY, 1889. 

At this meeting, Mr Roderick Maclean, Ardross, read a paper 
entitled, " Notes on the Parish of Kiltearn." Mr Maclean's paper 
was as follows : 



NOTES ON THE PARISH OF KILTEARN. 

The Parish of Kiltearn lies on the north side of the Cromarty 
Firth, west of, and parallel to, the Parish of Alness. Its greatest 
length is nearly 16 miles, and its average breadth 3 miles. The 
total area by the Ordnance Survey of If 76 is 29,956 acres, of 
which 4578 acres are arable. The surface is beautifully diversified 
by hill and dale, wood and water, arable and moorlands the hills 
rising in successive altitudes to the crowning point at Wy vis, 3429 
feet high. From the summit of Wyvis on a clear day the view is 
grand. A description is almost useless ; it must be seen to be 
appreciated. 

The origin of the name is to me doubtful. It is traditional 
that one of the early Barons of Fowlis was buried at the site of 
the present Parish Church, that in process of time many of the 
retainers of the family were buried around him, and that when a 
place of worship was built there it was called Kill-an-Tighearn 
the burying-place of the lord of the manor. I am not aware of 
another place of worship or of burial in the Highlands which, if 
dedicated, is so to any other than to the Divine or to a saint. 
Maj not the dedication be to the Lord Kill an Tighearna ? 

Great changes have taken place in the parish since Dr 
Robertson wrote his Statistical Account in 1791. There were 
then very few stone and lime houses those of the poorer classes 
were miserable turf and mud huts. The population then was 
<594 males and 922 females together, 1616; in 1831, 1605; and 



Notes on the Parish of Kiltearn. 303 

in 1881, 1146. I have no doubt the difference of the number of 
males under that of the females in 1791 was owing to the number 
of the Clan Munro who were then serving in the army. They 
were always famed as a warlike race. 

The object of this paper being to give the place names, I now 
proceed with them in alphabetical order : 

Achleach Achadh-an-Leathad The field on the slope. 

Allt-Cailc The chalky burn. Plants under water on the 
banks of this burn have the appearance as if covered with chalk, 
no doubt caused by lime held in solution in the water. Limestone 
must be there, though as far as I know it has not been discovered. 

Allt-Duack The black small burn. 

Allt-Duilleag The leafy burn, named after water-cresses that 
grow there. 

Allt-Garbhaidh The rough burn. 

Allt-Grad The ugly burn. This is a portion of the river 
flowing from Loch Glais, now too well known to require a minute 
description. North of the village of Evan ton, the river, for a 
distance of nearly two miles, runs through a narrow chasm from 
80 to 120 feet deep in one place only 16 feet wide and it is 
said in the last century a smuggler pu-sued by excisemen leapt 
over the chasm at this place. 

Allt-a-Choilich The burn of the blackcock. 

Allt a Ghoill The burn of the stranger or Lowlander. 

Alltan-Teann The swift running burn. 

Allt-na-moine The burn of the peat moss. 

AUt-nan-Caorach The burn of the sheep. Supposed to have 
got the name from a large number of sheep having been smothered 
in it during a severe snowstorm. There is here a lead mine, which 
was found to produce good lead, but the work was not prosecuted. 

An Leacaimi The side of the hill. 

Ardullie. 

Ath-a-Bhealaich Edheannaich. 

Bad a Ghortain The clump of wood at the small arable field. 

Badgharbhaidh The clump at the rough place. 

Balachladoch The town at the shore. 

Balacreig The town of the rock. 

Balmeanach The mid town. 

Balconie Balcomhnuidh The residence. So named from 
having been the first building erected by the first Earl of Ross, 
and in times gone by known as Baile Goihhnuidh Mhic Dhonuill. 

Balnacrae 

Bog Ttiath The north bog. 



304 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Bog a Phiobaire The piper's bog. 

Bogandurie Bog-an-Tur The bog of the tower. The tower 
is now in ruins. 

Bognahairn The bog at the south side of the Skiak water, 
where there existed a tower now in ruins. 

Cadha Dubh The black narrow pass. 

Clach-a-Cholumain The pigeon's stone. 

Clachan Biorach The pointed stones. 

These stones have evidently been erected as a Druidical place 
of worship. There are twelve of them disposed into the form of 
two ovals joined to each other, of equal areas, measuring 13 feet 
each from east to west in their longer axis, and 10 feet from north 
to south in their shorter axis. In the west end is a stone 8 feet 
above the ground, and the others are from 4 to 5 feet high. In 
the middle of the western oval is a flat stone, which probably may 
have been the altar. About 9 feet from the eastern oval is a 
circular hollow, said to have been a well of considerable depth, 
now filled up. It is 8 feet diameter at the top. Around these 
ovals are the remains of three consecutive circles the first 35 
paces, the second 50 paces, and the third 80 paces in circum- 
ference. The remains of large sepulchral cairns and tumuli in the 
parish are numerous, and are worthy of being kept on record. 

Clais Bhuie The yellow hollow. 

Clais Dhaibhidh David's hollow. 

Clare Clar A name applied to a plane, or land having a 
smooth surface. There is here an area of about 200 acres of what 
was till about 40 years ago arable and meadow land, about 700 
feet above the sea, but which cannot now, owing to the coldness 
and lateness of the seasons, be profitably cultivated. 

Caolasie The narrow passage at the lower end of Loch Glais. 
Here is the ford of the old drove road that passed that way. 

Clyne Claon The slope. This is the name by which the 
estate, now called Mountgerald, was known till recently. 

Cnoc a' Mhargaduidh Cnoc-a-Mhargaidh-Dhuibh The hill of 
the black market. Supposed to have got the name from some 
disaster that happened there, either in loss of life or loss in 
business the former probably on account of the number of 
tumuli at the base of the hill. This is a beautiful hill, oval in 
form, having its longer axis from north-west to south-east, or 
parallel to the valley of the Glais. Its base measures about 800 
yards by 400 yards, and its summit 60 by 20 yards. Its elevation 
is 1020 feet above the sea, and about 250 feet above the average 
level of the surrounding ground. On the eastern slope can be 






Notes on the Parish of Kiltearn. 305 

traced out what was evidently a roadway formed to the summit. 
A view from the summit of the surrounding valley suggests that 
its form was caused by glacial action, the flow of the ice being 
from the valley in which Loch Glais is situated, and from the 
eastern corries of Ben Wyvis, along the valley of Allt-nan-Caorach, 
immediately north of the hill. The united glacier appears to have 
swept the valley on both sides of the hill, and to have left the 
hill itself in its present beautifully smoothed shape. How it was 
able to withstand the destructive flow of the glacier is not very 
evident, as no rock is to be seen in it. From the summit are seen 
the vitrified hill forts of Knockfarrel, Craig-Phadrig, and the Ord 
of Kessock, and also the ridge of the Black Isle from Mount Eagle 
to Oomarty. Though the slopes are heathery, the summit is 
covered with green sward on fine black mould, and on digging to 
the depth of 18 inches, charcoal was found, suggesting that though 
no remains of a fort can be traced, it was a beacon hill that might 
be in communication \\ith the above hill forts and the beacon 
points of Resolis and Cromarty. As the name indicates, and 
tradition has it, markets were held at this hill in times long gone 
by. This is confirmed by easily traced remains of stone and turf 
walls at the base of the hill on the south side. They enclose an 
elongated area of 30 acres, sub-divided into stances by internal 
walls, and conspicuous in one place are the sorting fanks, of 
circular form, and other four-sided enclosures. More interesting, 
and within the same general enclosure, are five hut circles 
undoubtedly ancient two of them joined by a passage, and 
another having an internal wall from the circumference to near 
the centre, apparently intended for partial privacy. Around and 
north of the hut circles are a great number of tumuli, apparently 
grave mounds, which, except in two instances, have not been 
opened. 

Cnoc-Rais Reis The hill of the race, so named on account of 
some person who was wanted being seen at this place, and hotly 
pursued, but he won in the race and escaped. 

Cnoc-Vabin Mhath-beinn The good hill. This hill, about 
two miles north of Mountgerald House, has been, and still is, pro- 
ductive in grass. 

Cnoc-an-Teampuill The temple hill, north of the Clachan 
Biorach. 

Cnoc-na-Lathaich The hill of the mire. The ground at the 
base of this hill is miry. 

Coire-na-Comhlach The corry of the meeting place. 

Corrie-Bhacie The corrie of the peat bogs. 

20 



306 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Culbin Behind the hill. 

Culcairn Behind the cairn. This portion of the parish lies 
to the east of the Alltgrad, awkwardly jutting into the parish of 
Alness It was included in the parish of Kiltearn on account of 
the small estate which it forms having belonged to a scion of the 
Fowlis family when the boundaries of the parish were fixed. 

Culnaskeath A nook enclosed on one side by the Skiak water. 

Dal-Gheal White plain. 

Drummond Drummean The low ridge. A farm west of the 
village of Evanton. 

Dimruadh The red mound. The ruins of an old stronghold, 
relating to which there is no tradition. 

Eileanach The place of the islands. The place is about a 
mile and a half south of Loch Glais. The ground is flat, and 
during floods the river spreads out so as to form a few islands. 
Near this place is a beautiful waterfall, called " Conas," properly 
Coneis The waterfall of the dogs. Why it is called so I could 
not ascertain. The fall is in two leaps, about 1 5 feet each. The 
first falls into a large basin, over the lips of which it has been 
recently observed that less water flows out than falls in. Curiosity 
led the observing party to try by experiment if there existed an 
invisible channel, and, to their astonishment and delight, small 
pieces of wood and other light substances thrown into the basin 
were sucked up by a small eddy, and they reappeared in the pool 
at the bottom of the fall, after having made their way through 
the under channel. 

Evanton- A village situated between the Alltgrad and Skiack, 
about a mile north of the Cromarty Firth. The first house was 
built there about the year 1800, when Mr Fraser was proprietor 
of Balcony, and he called the village after his only son, Evan. 
Before then a small village existed to the west of Skiack water, to 
the north of the farm of Drummond, where there are still a few 
houses, still called the village of Drummond ; and, to distinguish 
the one from the other, Evanton was, and is still by old people, 
called "Am Baile Ur" the new town. This village is laid out 
with regular streets, its sanitary condition is good, and, a few 
years ago, the present superior Mr Ferguson of Novar introduced 
water at considerable expense to himself. 

Fannyfield The name given by the late Mr John Munro of 
Swordale, in 1859, to a portion of the estate of Swordale, formerly 
known by the name of Bog-Riabhach-^-the brindled or grevish bog. 

Ferrindonald Fearann Donuill The country of Donald, 
which includes the parishes of Alness, Kiltearn, part of Ding wall, 
and part of Kincardine. 



Notes on the Parish of Kiltearn. 307 

Buchanan relates that, about the beginning of the eleventh 
century, King Malcolm the Second of Scotland feued out the lands 
in the country to great families in it, on account of their eminent 
services in assisting him to extirpate the Danes out of the kingdom. 
And, according to the records of the Fovvlis family, it was on that 
occasion that the lands between the Borough of Dingwall and the 
water of Alness were, in 1025, given to Donald de Bunroe, pro- 
genitor of the family of Fowlis, from whom all the Munros in this 
country are descended. Part of these lands were afterwards, by 
the king, erected into a barony, called the Barony of Fowlis. From 
this Donald de Bunroe is lineally descended the present Sir Hector 
Munro, bart., who is the thirty-second baron of Fowlis. The 
.surname of Bunroe (now softened to Munro), is said to have 
originated in the fact that Donald came to assist King Malcolm II. 
with a band of trusty followers, from the foot of the river Roe 
{Bun Amhainn Roe), which falls into Loch Foyle, in the north 
of Ulster, and hence we have a few place names of Irish origin 
still existing in Ferrindonald, the most prominent of which is 
Fowlis, Ben-Wyvis, and Loch Glais. When the first charter was 
gran ted. by the Crown is not known. The earliest I could get at 
is the one granted by James the Sixth of Scotland, dated 8th 
March, 1608, granted to Sir Robert Munro. 

Fluchlady Fliuch Leathad The wet hill-side. 

Fowlis Fodh-'n-Lios Beneath the fort. The word lios is 
now applied to a garden, but originally in the Irish language it 
meant the enclosure of the garden, or that which defended the 
garden from the inroads of cattle or other animals. It meant also 
.a wall of defence surrounding a dwelling. Hence we have Lismore 
in Ireland, and the island of that name in Argyleshire, both 
meaning the big fort or stronghold. Now, on the top of the hill 
above Fowlis Castle, there is to be traced the foundation of what 
appears to have been an oval fort, and the late Sir Charles Munro 
told me that the site of Fowlis Castle derived its name from its 
being situated beneath this old fort. Hugh Munro, first of the 
family, authentically designated of Fowlis, died in 1126, and he 
seems to have been the grandson of Donald de Bunroe. Hugh's 
grandson built the first tower of Fowlis on a piece firm ground 
surrounded by a bog about 1150 or 1160. It is only in the 
present century that the last of this bog has been drained. The 
1 -resent Castle of Fowlis is built upon the foundations of the old 
tower, greatly extended in area, and the dates upon it are 1754, 
1777, and 1792. The barons who successively occupied the fort 



308 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

and castle are eminent in the history of our country, and to do 
justice to their memory would be the writing of volumes. I 
cannot, however, refrain from mentioning an anecdote which is 
told of Sir George Munro of Culcairn, uncle of Sir John Munro, 
known as the " Presbyterian Mortar-piece," and from whom the 
present Baronet of Fowlis has descended. He was a soldier of 
fortune, and was engaged in the thirty years' war. He was called 
the " Presbyterian Mortar-piece " on account of his firm adherence 
to Presbyterianism during the twenty-eight years of Prelacy in 
Scotland from 1660 to 1688. He was too powerful a man for 
Bishop Paterson to take before the Commission for nonconformity, 
but his dependants did not always escape. The Bishop was 
informed that two men on the Fowlis estate, John Munro (Caird), 
and Alexander Ross (Gow), were in the habit of holding con- 
venticles, and caused them to be summoned before a Commission 
which sat in Elgin in December, 1684, or January, 1685, on non- 
conformity, " to fine, confine, banish and hang, as they should see 
cause." The Commission consisted of the Earls of Errol and Kin- 
tore, and Sir George Munro of Culcairn. Sir George was a friend 
to the oppressed. He was told by his lady that John Caird and 
Alexander Gow were summoned to appear before the Commission, 
and he desired her to tell them when called not to answer to their 
names of "Munro" and " Ross," but " Caird" and "Gow." He 
then, on the Court day, when the men were before them, said that 
their Lordships did not understand Gaelic, which he did, and that 
the names of the men meant " tinker " and " blacksmith ;" that 
such characters never troubled themselves about religion they 
rather eugaged in drinking, swearing, and fighting, and that the 
Court was really disgraced by the Bishop bringing such characters, 
before them, and he moved that the men be ordered out of Court, 
never to appear before them again, which was agreed to, and the 
Bishop was censured. At the same meeting Sir John Munro of 
Fowlis was ordered to be imprisoned in Tain, and his son in Inver- 
ness, for nonconformity. 

Sir John was a man of great physical power. Here is the 
whisky bottle out of which he used to give his tenants a dram 
when paying their rents, and this is the glass. The bottle con- 
tained 5J gallons, and the glass 2J large wine glassfulls. It is. 
said that Sir John could, with ease, lift the bottleful in his right 
hand and steadily fill the glass. From other anecdotes related of 
him he must have weighed over 30 stones. He died in 1696. 
Many of his dependants also were strong men. It is said that 
about this period an English champion came to Fowlis and 



Notes on the Parish of Kiltearn. 309 

challenged any man to fight him. He was entertained in the castle 
according to the custom of such challenges till an opponent could 
be found. Some days passed without any accepting of the 
challenge, till a township of crofters from the side of Loch-Glais 
came clown with their stent of peats as part of their rent. After 
delivering their peats they were taken into the castle kitchen 
and entertained to a supply of beef, bread, and beer. The 
champion went in to see what kind of men they were. Among 
them was a big bonnetless and shoeless youth, whom the 
champion took a fancy to tease. He spat upon the meat the 
youth was eating without effect ; he did it a second time, which 
caused a disturbance in the youth's face, but on it being done a 
third time the youth threw down the meat he had in his hand, 
caught the champion by the neck and legs, and with one stroke 
broke his spine on the massive bars of the kitchen grate. 

Fuaran-buidhe The yellow well. 

Gortan The small corn or arable field. 

Katewell Ceud bhaile The first town or piece of land pos- 
sessed by the Earl of Boss. 

Knockan-Curin (Caoran) The hill of the rowan trees, or 
mountain ash. 

Knockgurmain The indigo hill. 

Lemlair (Leum-an-lair) The mare's leap. 

Meall-na-speraig The sparrow hawk's hill. Here three lairds' 
lands meet Tulloch, Fowlis, and Wyvis. 

Loch-nam-buachaillean The herds' loch. 

Mountgerald So named by Mackenzie, the proprietor, who 
resided there in the middle of the last century, in honour of his 
supposed progenitor, Fitzgerald. The estate was formerly called 
Clyne, and is still called Claon (a slope) by Gaelic-speaking people. 

Mountrich A name recently given ; why, I have not ascer- 
tained. Its Gaelic name is Kil-a-choan. 

Ochtobeg The small eight of a davoch of land. 

Ord The height. 

Pealaig The patchy looking ground. 

Eidorach The dark slope. 

River Skiack Sgitheach, or blackthorn. 

Teachait -'Cat house. 

Teanord Tigh-an-ord The house on the height. 

Teandallan Dalian is an old name for plough-yokes and 
swingletrees. A carpenter lived here who made a trade of them. 

Torr na h-Uamhaig The hill of ticks. 

Waterloo This house, recently an inn, was named after the 
Battle of Waterloo. 



310 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Weyvis Fuathais (3429 feet), is an Irish word, meaning a 
den, or a dismal place to look into. Near the summit of the moun- 
tain there is a corrie, which cannot be viewed from above without 
feelings of awe. It is comparatively narrow, and 1000 feet deep. 
On the south-west side the cliffs are nearly perpendicular, and it 
would take a cool head indeed to attempt to scale them. On the 
north- east side the descent can safely be made. From this corrie 
the mountain has .got its name. It is now called Corry-na-feol, on 
account of the number of cattle that were killed by falling over the 
cliffs in the days when Ross-shire farmers sent cattle there to summer 
grazing. It is said of a man who at one time herded the cattle 
that when he happened to be short of food he did not scruple to 
drive some of the cattle under his care to the edge of one of the 
cliffs at night, making himself sure of dead meat at the bottom of 
the corrie next morning. Many stories are told of excursions to 
Weyvis by caterans in the days of cattle lifting, I will relate one. 
Twelve Lochafter men, in quest of spoil, came to Weyvis, and drove 
before them all the cattle they could find into Corrie-na-feol, with 
the intention of commencing their home journey the following 
morning. A powerful old man, who herded the cattle, known by 
the name of " Breachie," from the freckled appearance of his skin, 
assisted by an active young man named Donald 6g, took a bundle 
of withs, came upon the twelve men by surprise during the night, 
overpowered and bound them with the withs. They were handed 
over to justice. Seven were hung, and the rest set at liberty. The 
leader, who was a bit of a poet, composed a song on the occasion 
of his capture, of which the following is a verse : 

" Tha mo bheansa torrach 6g, 
'S truagh a ri nach b'e mac e, 
Ach an toir e steach an t6ir, 
Air Donull 6g is air Breachie." 

At no time is Wyvis without snow. Even in the hottest summers 
a patch is to be found in some one of its corries, and in allusion to 
this, says Dr Robertson of Kiltearn, in his Statistical Account of 
the parish, written in 1791, "there is a remarkable clause inserted 
in one of the charters of the family of Fowlis, which is, that the 
forest of ' Uaish' is held of the King on condition of paying a 
snowball to his Majesty on any day of the year, if required. Snow 
was actually sent to the Duke of Cumberland when at Inverness, 
in 1746, to cool his wine." 



MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY. 



HONORARY CHIEFTAINS. 

Sir Kenneth S. Mackenzie of Gairloch, Bart. 

Professor John Stuart Blackie, Edinburgh University 

Charles Fraser-Mackintosh of Drummond, M.P. 

Colin Chisholni Namur Cottage, Inverness 

Alex. Nicolson, M.A., LL.D., advocate, sheriff-substitute, Greenock 

LIFE MEMBERS. 

Baillie, James E. B., of Dochfour 

Bankes, P. Liot, of Letterewe 

Burgess, Peter, factor for Glenmoriston, Drumnadrochit 

Campbell, Alasdair, of Kilmartin, Glen-Urquhart 

Chisholm of Chisholm, 33 Tavistock Square, London 

Ferguson, R. C. Munro, of Novar 

Fletcher, Fitzroy C., Letham Grange, Arbroath 

Fletcher, J. Douglas, of Rosehaugh 

Finlay, R. B., Q.C., M.P., London 

Fraser-Mackintosh, Charles, of Drummond, M.P. 

Fraser, Donald, of Millburn, Inverness 

Jackson, Major Randle, of Swordale, Evanton 

Macdonald, Lachlan, of Skaebost, Skye 

Macfarlane, D. H., 46 Portman Square, London 

Mackay, Donald, Gampola, Kandy, Ceylon 

Mackay, George F., Roxburgh, Otago, New Zealand 

Mackay, James, Roxburgh, Otago, New Zealand 

Mackay, John, C.E., Hereford 

Mackay, John, of Ben Reay 

Mackenzie, Sir Kenneth S., of Gairloch, Bart. 

Mackenzie, Allan R., yr. of Kintail 

Matheson, Sir Kenneth, of Lochalsh, Bart. 

Scobie, Captain N., late of Fearn, Ross-shire 

HONORARY MEMBERS. 

Beith, Gilbert, 7 Royal Bank Place, Glasgow 

Blair, Sheriff, Inverness 

Brown, J. A. Harvie, Dunipace, Larbert 



312 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Burgess, Alexander, Caledonian Bank, Gairloch 

Cameron, Allan, 22 Elm wood Avenue, Belfast 

Cameron, Donald, Moniack Castle 

Cameron, E\ven, manager of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank- 
ing Company, at Shanghai 

Cameron, James Randal, Jacksonville, Oregon 

Cameron, Sir Charles, President of the Royal College of Surgeons, 
Dublin 

Campbell, Duncan, editor, " Northern Chronicle," Inverness 

Campbell, George Murray, Jamaic > 

Chisholm, Captain A. Macra, Glassburn, Strathglass 

Chisholm, Roderick Gooden, 33 Tavistock Square, London 

Davidson, Donald, of Drummond Park, Inverness 

Dunmore, the Right Hon. the Earl of 

Ferguson, Miss Marion, 23 Grove Road, St John's Wood, London 

Eraser, Alexander, agent for the Commercial Bank of Scotland, 
Inverness 

Eraser, A. T. F., clothier, Church Street, Inverness 

Gard, Lieut-Col. Gostwyck, late 93rd Highlanders, Cul-aii-eilan 
Inverness 

Grant, Brigade-Surgeon Alex., Reay House, Inverness 

Grant, Ian Macpherson, yr. of Ballindalloch 

Grant, John, jun., Oakbank, Glen-Urquhart 

Grant, John, Cardiff, Wales 

Grant, Field-Marshal Sir Patrick, G.C.B., Chelsea, London 

Grant, Robert, of Messrs Macdougall & Co., Inverness 

Innes, Charles, solicitor, Inverness 

Jolly, William, H.M. Inspector of Schools, Pollockshie)ds, Glasgow 

Macandrew, Sir H. C., sheriff-clerk of Inverness-shire 

Macallister Councillor T. S., Inverness 

Macbean, William, Imperial Hotel, Inverness 

MacConnachie, John, M.I.C.E., Mayor of Cardiff 

Macdonald, Alexander, of Edenwood 

Macdonald, Allan, solicitor, Inverness 

Macdonald, Andrew, solicitor, Inverness 

Macdonald, Captain D. P., Ben-Nevis Distillery, Fort- William 

Macfarlane, Alex., Caledonian Hotel, Inverness 

Mackenzie, P. A. C., Rio de Janeiro 

Mackenzie, Rev. A. D., Free Church, Kilmorack 

Mackenzie, Mackay D., National Provincial Bank, Gateshead-on- 
Tyne 

Mackintosh of Mackintosh, Moyhall 

Mackintosh, Angus, of Holme, Palace Chambers, 9 Bridge Street, 
Westminster 



Members. 313 

Mackintosh, Eneas W., of Raigmore 

Mackintosh, Miss Amy B., of Dalmimzie 

Mackintosh, P. A., C.E., Bury, Lancashire 

Macmillan, E. H., manager of the Caledonian Bank, Inverness 

Macphail, I. R., advocate, Edinburgh 

Macpherson, Charles J. B., of Bellville, Kingussie 

Macpherson, Colonel, of Glentruim, Kingussie 

Macpherson, Colonel Ewen, of Cluny 

Macpherson, George, Scottish Widows' Fund, St Andrew's Square, 

Edinburgh 

Moir, Dr F. F. M., Aberdeen 

Robertson, John L., H.M. Inspector of Schools, Inverness 
Rose, Major, of Kilravock 
Scott, Roderick, solicitor, Inverness 
Shaw, A. Mackintosh, Secretary's Office, G.P.O., London 
Stewart, Col. Charles, E.C.B., C.M.G., C.I.E., 51 Redcliff Square, 

South Kensington, S.W. 
Sutherland, Evan Charles, of Skibo 

Tweedmouth, The Right Honourable Lord, Guisachan House 
Watson, Rev. D., D.D., Beaverton, Ontario, Canada 

ORDINARY MEMBERS. 

Aitken, Dr Thomas, Lunatic Asylum, Inverness 

Aitken, Hugh, 27 Dickson Avenue, Crossbill, Glasgow 

Bannerman, Hugh, 213 Lord Street, Southport 

Barclay, John, accountant. Inverness 

Barron, James, editor, " Inverness Courier," Inverness 

Baxter, Frederick, seedsman, Inverness 

Beaton, Angus J., C.E., London & North Western Railway, Bangor 

Bentick, Rev. Chas. D., E.G. Manse, Kirkhill, Inverness 

Bisset, Rev. Alexander, R.C., Fort- Augustus 

Black, F. A., solicitor, Inverness 

Black, G. F., National Antiquarian Museum, Edinburgh 

Black, John, Victoria Hotel, Inverness 

Brodie, J. P., Glenalbyn Hotel, Inverness 

Buchanan, F. C., Clarinnish, Row, Helensburgh 

Cameron, A. H. F., 12 Shield Road, Liverpool 

Cameron, Colin, ironmonger, High Street, Inverness 

Cameron, C. M., Balnakyle. Munlochy 

Cameron, Ewen, writer, Edinburgh 

Cameron, D. M., wholesale grocer, Dempster Gardens 

Cameron, Donald, of Lochiel 



314 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Cameron, D., teacher, Blairour, Aonachan, Lochaber 

Cameron, John, bookseller, Union Street, Inverness 

Cameron, Miss M. E., of Innseagan, Fort-William 

Cameron, Paul, Blair-Athole 

Cameron, Rev. Alex., Sleat, Skye 

Cameron, Rev. John, Beauly 

Cameron, Rev. William, minister of Poolewe 

Campbell, Fraser (of Fraser & Campbell), High Street, Inverness 

Campbell, George J., solicitor, Inverness 

Campbell, James, builder, Ardross Place, Inverness 

Campbell, The Rev. John, Kilmore Manse, Glen-Urquhart 

Campbell, John, jun., inspector of poor, Kingussie 

Campbell, Paul, shoemaker, Castle Street, Inverness 

Campbell, T. D. (of Gumming & Campbell), Inverness 

Cesari, E., Station Hotel, Inverness 

Chisholm, C. C., 65 Kilbowie Road, Clydebank, Dumbarton 

Chisholm, D. H., 21 Castle Street, Inverness 

Chisholm, Duncan, coal merchant, Inverness 

Chisholm, Archibald, P.F., Lochmaddy 

Chisholm, Colin, Namur Cottage, Inverness 

Cockburn, Thomas, Royal Academy, Inverness 

Cook, James, commission agent, Inverness 

Cook, John, commission agent, 21 Southside Road, Inverness 

Gran, John, Kirkton, Bunchrew 

Davidson, D., Waverley Hotel, Inverness 

Davidson, John, grocer, Inglis Street, Inverness 

Davidson, William, Ruthven, Stratherrick 

Dewar, Daniel, Beaufort 

Dick, Mrs, Greenhill, Lower Drummond 

Dwelly, E., Piper Argyle Highlanders, Ballachulish 

Fergusson, Charles, The Gardens, Gaily, Gatehouse, Kirkcubright- 

shire 

Fergusson, D. H., pipe-major, I.H.R.V., Inverness 
Finlayson, Dr, Munlochy 

Finlayson, John, rector, Farraline Institution, Inverness 
Finlayson, John, commercial traveller, Hillside Villa, Inverness. 
Forbes, Duncan, of Culloden 
Forsyth, John H., wine merchant, Inverness 
Fraser, JEneas (Innes & Mackay), Inverness 
Fraser, Alexander, Schoolhouse, Kingussie 
Fraser, Alex., draper, 15 Church Street 
Fraser, A. R., South Africa 



Members. 



315- 



iser, Miss Catherine, 25 Academy Street, Inverness 
Fraser, D. Munro, H.M. Inspector of Schools, Glasgow 
Fraser, Hugh E., Commercial Bank House, Inverness 
Fraser, Henry W., Commercial Bank House, Inverness 
Fraser, James, C.E., Inverness 
Fraser, James, Mauld, Strath glass 
Fraser, John, draper, 80 High Street, Nairn 
Fraser, Miss Hannah G., Farraline Villa, North Berwick 
Fraser, Miss Mary, 2 Ness Walk, Inverness 
Fraser, Roderick, contractor, Argyle Street, Inverness 
Fraser, William, School Board officer, 52 Tomnahurich Street 
Galloway, George, chemist, Inverness 
Gillanders, K. A., Drummond Street, Inverness 
Gillanders, John, teacher, Denny 
Glass, C. C., 122 North Street, St Andrews 
Gordon, John A., dentist, Inverness 
Gow, James Mackintosh, F.S.A. Scot., Union Bank, Hunter's. 

Square, Edinburgh 

Grant, George Macpherson, The Castle, Ballindalloch 
Grant, Rev. J., E.G. Manse, Kilmuir, Skye 
Grant, Dr Ogilvie, Inverness 
Grant, Rev. Donald, Dornoch 
Grant, J. M., of Glenmoriston 

Grant, J. B., factor and commissioner for The Chisholm, Erchless 
Grant. F. W., Mary hill, Inverness 

Grant, William, Chapel Walk, Cross Street, Manchester 
Gray, James, slater, Friar's Street, Inverness 
Gunn, Rev. Adam, Durness, Lairg. 
Gunn, John, 14 Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh 
Gunn, William, draper, Castle Street, Inverness 
Henderson, John, factor for Rosehaugh, Fortrose 
Holt, John B., Abbey School, Fort-Augustus 
Hood, John, Life Association of Scotland, Edinburgh. 
Hood, Thomas, chemist, 11 Broad Street, Bristol 
Home, John, Teviot Cottage, Southside Road, Inverness 
Jameson, Walter, Glenarm, Co. Antrim, Ireland 
Jerram, C. S., Preyot House, Petworth 
Kemp, D. William, Ivy, Lodge, Trinity, Edinburgh 
Kenard, Cecil, Sconser Lodge, Skye 
Kennedy, Neil, Millburn, Inverness 
Kennedy, Rev. John, Cattacoil, Arran 
Kerr, Dr, Inverness 
Kerr, Cathel, Free Church College, Aberdeen 



316 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Kerr, Thomas, Caledonian Bank, Inverness 

Livingston, Colin, Fort- William 

Lyon, Councillor, Aberdeen 

Macaulay, A. N., Cumberland Street, Edinburgh 

Macbain, Alexander, M. A., F.S.A. Scot., head-master, Raining's 
School, Inverness 

Macbean, William, 35 Union Street 

Macbean, George, writer, Queensgate, Inverness 

Macbean, James, 77 Church Street, Inverness 

Macbean, Lachlan, editor, "Fifeshire Advertiser," Kirkcaldy 

Macbeth, R. J., Queensgate, Inverness 

Maccallum, Dr C. H. D., Elm Lodge, Anstruther 

Maccallum, Henry V., 42 Union Street, Inverness 

Maccallum, John, builder, Fort-William 

M'Cormick, Rev. J. H. J., F.S.A., Scot., Whitehaven, Cumberland 

Maccowan, Rev. J., Cromdale 

Macdonald, Alex., Audit Office, Highland Railway, Inverness 

Macdonald, Alex., Station Hotel, Forres 

Macdonald, Charles, Knocknageal, by Inverness 

Macdonald," Rev. Charles, Mingarry, Loch Shiel, Salen 

Macdonald, David, St Andrew's Street, Aberdeen 

Macdonald, D., Inland Revenue officer, Lochmaddy 

Macdonald, James, hotel-keeper, Fort-William 

Macdonald, John, banker, Buckie 

Macdonald, Thomas, builder, Hilton, Inverness 

Macdonald, Donald, flesher, New Market, Inverness 

Macdonald, D. C., solicitor, Aberdeen 

Macdonald, Finlay, Druidaig, Kintail 

Macdonald, John, supervisor, Edinburgh 

Macdonald, John, wholesale merchant, Castle Street, Inverness 

Macdonald, John, superintendent of police, Inverness 

Macdonaid, Kenneth, town-clerk, Inverness 

Macdonald, William, sheriff-clerk-depute, Inverness 

Macdonald, John, 14 Shore Street, Inverness 

Macdonald, William, contractor, Innes Street, Inverness 

Macdonald, Ralph Erskine, Corindah, by Bowen, Downs, Queens- 
land 

Macdonald, L., Altona, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. 

Macdonald, Alexander, 62 Tomnahurich Street, Inverness 

Macdonald, John, Loch Ericht Hotel, Dalvvhinnie 

Macdonald, Ronald, headmaster, Central School, Inverness 

Macdougall, Alexander, bookseller, Fort- William 

Macfarlane, Peter, chemist, Fort-William 






Members- 317 

Macgillivray, Finlay, solicitor, Inverness 

Macgregor, Alexander, solicitor, Inverness 

Macgregor, John, hotel-keeper, Invermoriston 

Macgregor, R. J., ironmonger, Bridge Street 

Macgregor, Peter, M.A., 4 Broughton Street, Edinburgh 

Machardy, Alex., chief constable, The Castle, Inverness 

Machines, Malcolm, Raining's School, Inverness 

Macintyre Malcolm, Fort-William 

Macintyre, P. B., Commissioner, Crofters' Commission 

Macintyre, Peter, 6 Parliament Square, Edinburgh 

Macintyre, J., Balnacoil, Brora. 

Maciver, Duncan, Church Street, Inverness 

Mackay, Dean of Guild Charles, Culduthel Road, Inverness 

Mackay, James John, London 

Mackay, Rev. G. W., Killin, Perthshire 

Mackay, Thomas, 14 Henderson Row, Edinburgh 

Mackay, William, solicitor, Queensgate, Inverness 

Mackay, William, bookseller, High Street, Inverness 

Mackay, William, Leanach Cottage, Culduthel Road, Inverness 

Mackenzie, Mrs, Silverwells, Inverness 

Mackenzie, Alexander, editor, " Scottish Highlander," Inverness 

Mackenzie, Bailie Alexander, wine merchant, Church Street, Inver- 
ness 

Mackenzie, A. C., teacher, Maryburgh, Dingwall 

Mackenzie, Andrew, ironmonger, Alness 

Mackenzie, Dr F. M., Inverness 

Mackenzie, Hector Rose, solicitor, Inverness 

Mackenzie, John, Ardlair, Spylair Road, Edinburgh 

Mackenzie, John, grocer, 1 Greig Street, Inverness 

Mackenzie, Murdo, Inland Revenue, Inverness 

Mackenzie, M. T., M.B. & C.M., Scalpaig, Lochmaddy 

Mackenzie, N. B., banker, Fort-William 

Mackenzie, W., manager, Moyhall 

Mackenzie, Simon (Harrison & Co.), Chambers Street, Edinburgh 

Mackenzie, William, secretary, Crofters' Commission, Ardgowan, 
Fairneld Road, Inverness 

Mackenzie, William, clothier, Bridge Street, Inverness 

Mackenzie, Miss Helen, 7 Palace Road, Surbiton, Surrey 

Mackenzie, D. J., M.A., Silverwells, Inverness 

Mackintosh, JEneas, The Doune, Uaviot 

Macintosh, Rev. John, Fort- William 

Mackintosh, Duncan, Bank of Scotland, Inverness 

Mackintosh, Hugh, ironmonger, Inverness 



318 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Mackintosh, Neil, yr., of Raigmore 

Mackintosh, Rev. A., Chapel House, Fort-William 

Mackintosh, R. L., wine merchant, Church Street, Inverness 

Mackintosh, William, Idvies, Forfar 

Maclachlan, Dugald, Caledonian Bank, Portree 

Maclachlan, Duncan, Public Library, Edinburgh 

Maclennan, Alex., flesher, New Market, Inverness 

Maclennan, John, Bilbster Public School, Wick 

Maclennan, Dr John, Milton, Glen-Urquhart 

Maclennan, Rev. D. S., Laggan, Kingussie 

Maclean, Roderick, factor, Ardross, Alhess 

Macleay, W. A., birdstuffer. Inverness 

Macleish, D., banker, Fort- William 

Macleod, Reginald, Queen's Remembrancer, Edinburgh 

Macleod, Neil, " The Skye Bard," 7 Royal Exchange, Edinburgh 

Macleod, G. G., teacher, Gledfield Public School, Ardgay 

Macleod, D., H.M. Inspector of Schools, Inverness 

Macmillan, D., Church Street, Inverness 

Macnee, Dr James, M.D., Inverness 

Macphail, Alexander, Strathpeffer 

Macphail, Alex., Forbes Field, Great Western Road, Aberdeen 

Macpherson, Alex., solicitor, Kingussie 

Macpherson, Alexander, 1 Laurieston Terrace, Edinburgh 

Macpherson, Captain, J. F., Caledonian United Service Club, 

Edinburgh 

Macpherson, Duncan, 8 Drummond Street, Inverness 
Macpherson, Duncan, Inverguseran, Knoydart 
Macpherson, Hector, 7 View Place. Inverness 
Macpherson, John, Olen-Affric Hotel, Strathglass 
Macrae, A. Fraser, 172 St Vincent Street, Glasgow 
Macrae, Rev. Farquhar, M.A., E.G. Manse, Invergarry 
Macrae, Rev. A., Free Church Manse, Clachan, Kintyre 
Macrae, Rev. Angus, Free Church Manse, Glen-Urquhart 
Macrae, Duncan, Ardintoul, Lochalsh 
Macrae, R., postmaster, Beauly 
Macrae, John, solicitor, Dingwall 
Macrae, John, M.D., Craigville, Laggan, Kingussie 
Macrae, Kenneth, Dayville, Grant County, Oregon 
Macraild, A. R., Fort>Willinm 
Macritchie, A. J., solicitor, Inverness 
Macrury, Rev. John, Snizort, Skye 

M ictavish, Alexander, Ironmonger, Castle Street, Inverness 
Mactavish, Duncan, High Street, Inverness 



Members. 319 

Mactavish, P. D., solicitor, Inverness 

Masson, Rev. Donald, M.D., 57 Albany Place, Edinburgh 

Matheson, Dr Farquhar, Soho Square, London 

Matheson, Gilbert, draper, Inverness 

Medlock, Arthur, Bridge Street, Inverness 

Menzies, Duncan, farmer, Blairich, Rogart 

Millar, William, auctioneer, Inverness 

Miller, E. T., Fort-William 

Miller, Dr, Belford Hospital, Fort-William 

Mitchell, William, draper, Fort- William 

Morgan, Arthur, 6 Parliament Square, Edinburgh. 

Morrison, Hew, Free Library, Edinburgh 

Morrison, J. A., Fairfield Road, Inverness. 

Morrison, William, schoolmaster, Dingwall 

Mortimer, John, 344 Great Western Road, Aberdeen 

Munro, A. R., Eden Cottage, Ladypool Lane, Birmingham 

Munro, Rev. Robert, B.D., Old Kilpatrick, near Glasgow 

Murdoch, John, Horton Cottage, Uddingstone 

Murray, Francis, The Lodge, Portree 

Murray, Dr James, M.D., Inverness 

Nairne, David, sub-editor, " Northern Chronicle " 

Nicolson, Alex., M.A., LL.D.. advocate, sheriff-substitute of 

Greenock 

Noble, John, bookseller, Castle Street, Inverness 
O'Hara, Thomas, Inspector of National Schools, Portarlingtoii 

Ireland 

Ritchie, Rev. R. L., Creich, Sutherlandshire 
Robertson, John, Tartan Warehouse, Fort-William 
Robertson, Rev. Duncan, Arisaig, Fort-William 
Robson, A. Mackay, Constitution Street, Leith 
Ross, A. M., " Northern Chronicle," Inverness 
Ross, Provost Alex., architect, Inverness 
Ross, George, ironmonger, Dingwall 
Ross, James, solicitor, Inverness 
Ross, Jonathan, merchant, Inverness 
Sharp, D., 81 Scott Street, Garuethill, Glasgow 
Siepmanu, Otto, The College, Inverness 
Simpson, George B., Broughty-Ferry 
Sinclair, Rev. A. Mac'ean, Springville, Nova Scotia 
Simon, Rev. Thomas, Dores, Inverness 
Smart, P. H., drawing-master, Inverness 
Spalding, William C. Adampore, South Thibet, India 
Stewart, Colin J., Dingwall 



320 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Stewart, A. J., grocer, Union Street 

Strickland, Robert, Clutha Cottage, Kenneth Street 

Stuart, Bailie W. G., draper, Castle Street, Inverness 

Sutherland, George Miller, solicitor, Wick 

Sutherland, The Rev. George, Beauly 

Thomson, Hugh, stockbroker, Inverness 

Thomson, Rev. R. W., Fodderty, Strathpeffer 

Thomson, John, 57 Argyle Place, Aberdeen 

Thoyts, Canon, Tain 

Todd, David, Kingsburgh, Skye 

Wallace, Thomas, rector, High School, Inverness 

Whyte, David, photographer, Church Street, Inverness 

Whyte, Duncan, live-stock agent, Glasgow 

Whyte, John, booksellef, Inverness 

Wilson, George, S.S.C., 20 Young Street, Edinburgh 

DECEASED MEMBERS. 

Chisholm, Simon, Flowerdale, Gairloch 

Dott, Donald, banker, Lochmaddy 

Mackay, Charles, LL.D., Fern Dell Cottage, Dorking 

Morrison, Dr D., Edinburgh 

Rose, Hugh, solicitor, Inverness 

Ross, Alexander, Alness 



LIST OF BOOKS 



IN 



THE SOCIETY'S LIBRARY. 



NAMES OF BOOKS. 

Ossian's Poems (H. Society's edition, 

Gaelic and Latin), 3 vols. 
Smith's Gaelic Antiquities 
Smith's Seann Dana .... 
Highland Society's Report on Ossian's 

Poems ...... 

Stewart's Sketches of the Highlands, 2 vols 
Skene's Picts and Scots .... 

Dain Osiein Mhic Fhinn . 

Macleod's Oran Nuadh Gaelach 

An Teachdaire Gaelach, 1829-30 

Carew's Ecclesiastical History of Ireland . 

Grain Ghilleasbuig Ghrannd, two copies . 

Connell's Real-colas .... 

Maclauchlan's Celtic Gleanings 
Maclauchlan's Early Scottish Church 
The Dean of Lismore's Book . 
Macleod and Dewar's Gaelic Dictionary . 
Highland Society's do., 2 vols. 

Rit son's Caledonians, Picts and Scots 
Dr Walker's Hebrides, 2 vols . 
Campbell's Language, Poetry, and Music 

of the Highland Clans 
Macnicol's Remarks on Dr Johnston's Tour 

in the Hebrides .... 
Somers' Letters from the Highlands 



DONOR. 

Colonel Mackenzie 
of Parkmount 
ditto 
ditto 

ditto 
ditto 

ditto 
ditto 
ditto 

Mr W. Mackay 
Mr Charles Mackay 

ditto 

Rev. Dr Maclauchlan 
ditto 
ditto 
ditto 

Sir Ken. S. Mackenzie 
of Gairloch, Bart. 
ditto 
ditto 

Mr John Murdoch 



ditto 
ditto 



21 



322 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

NAMES OF BOOKS. DONOR. 

Cameron's Chemistry of Agriculture . Mr John Murdoch 

Sketches of Islay ditto 

Cameron's History of Skye . . . ditto 
Kennedy's Bardic Stories of Ireland . ditto 
Hicky's Agricultural Class-Book . . ditto 
Grain Ghaelach Mhic Dhunleibhe . . ditto 
The Wolf of Badenoch .... ditto 
Familiar Illustrations of Scottish Life . ditto 
Antiquity of the Gaelic Language . . ditto 
The Dauntless Red Hugh of Tyrconnell . ditto 
The Kilchoman People Vindicated . . ditto 
Caraid a' Ghaidheil Sermon . . . ditto 
Highland Clearances the Cause of High- 
land Famines ditto 

Co-operative Associations . . . ditto 

Lecture ...... ditto 

Review of " Eight Days in Islay " . . ditto 

Gold Diggings in Sutherland . . . ditto 

Review of Language of Ireland . . ditto 

Highland Character . . . . ditto 

An Teachdaire Gaelach, 1829-30 . . ditto 

The Scottish Regalia .... ditto 

Campbell's West Highland Tales, 4 vols . Mr Alex. Mackenzie 

Bliadhna Thearlaich . . . : ' ditto 

Macfarlane's Collection of Gaelic Poems . Miss Hood 

Old Gaelic Bible (partly MSS.) . . . J. Mackenzie, M.D., 

of Eileanach 

MacHale's, Archbishop, Irish Pentateuch . Canon Bourke 

Irish Translation of Moore's Melodies . ditto 
The Bull " Ineffabilis " (Latin, English, 

Gaelic, and French) .... ditto 

Celtic Language and Dialects . . . ditto 

Bourke's Irish Grammer .... ditto 

Bourke's Easy Lessons in Irish . . ditto 

Mackenzie's Beauties of Gaelic Poetry . Rev. W. Ross, Glas- 
gow 

Mac-Crimmon's Piobaireachd . . . Rev. A. Macgregor 

Stratton's Gaelic Origin of Greek and Latin ditto 
Gaelic Translation of Apocrypha (by Rev. 

A. Macgregor) .... ditto 

Buchanan's Historia Scotise . . . Mr William Mackay 

The Game Laws, by R. G. Tolmie . . ditto 



Library. 



323 



NAMES OP BOOKS. 

St James's Magazine, vol. i. 
Fingal (edition 1762) 

Collection of English Poems (2 vols.) 
Philologic Uses of the Celtic Tongue 
Scoto-Celtic Philology .... 

Dana Oisein (Maclauchlan's edition). 
Munro's Gaelic Primer .... 

M' Alpine's Gaelic Dictionary . 
M'Pherson's Duanaire .... 

Munro's Gaelic Grammar 

Grain Mhic-an-t-Saoir .... 

Grain Uilleim Ross , 

Ceithir Searmoinean, le Dr Dewar . 
Carsewell's Prayer Book (Gaelic) 
Scots' Magazine (1757) .... 

History of the Rebellion, 1745-46 . 
Welsh Bible ...... 

Old Gaelic New Testament 
Adhamh agus Eubh (Adam and Eve) 

Gld Gaelic Bible 

Grain Ailein Dughallaich 

Macpherson's Poem's of Ossian 

An Gaidheal for 1873 

Grain, cruinnichte le Mac-an-Tuainear 

The Gospels, in eight Celtic dialects 
Fraser of Knockie's Highland Music 

The Clan Battle at Perth, by Mr A. M. 

Shaw ...... 

The Scottish Metrical Psalms . 

Sailm Dhaibhidh Ameadreachd (Ed. 1659) 

Biographical Dictionary of Eminent 

Scotsmen (9 vols.) .... 
Grain Ghilleasbuig Grannd 
Clarsach nan Beann . 
Fulangas Chriost . 

Dain Spioradail . 



DONOR. 
Mr Mackay, book 

seller, Inverness 
C. Fraser-Mackintosh, 

Esq., M.P. 
Mr D. Mackintosh 
Mr D. Maciver 
Lord Neaves, LL.D., 

F.R.S.E. 

Maclachlan <fc Stewart 
ditto 
ditto 
ditto 
ditto 
ditto 
ditto 
ditto 

Purchased 
Mr A. Macbean 
Mr D. Mackintosh 
Mr L. Mackintosh 
Mr L. Macbean 
ditto 
ditto 
ditto 
ditto 

The Publishers 
Mr A. Mackintosh 

Shaw, London 
Mr J. Mackay, C.E., 

Hereford 

Mr Mackenzie, Bank 
Lane, Inverness 

The Author 

Mr J. Fraser, Glasgow 

Mr A. R. Macraild, 

Inverness 
Mr J. Craigie, Dundee 

ditto. 

ditto. 

ditto. 



324 



Gaelic Society of Inverness. 



NAMES OF BOOKS. 

Spiritual Songs (Gaelic and English) 
Alexander Macdonald's Gaelic Poems 
Grain Mhic-an-t-Saoir .... 
Leabhar nan Ceist ..... 
Co-eigneachadh Soisgeulach (Boston) 
History of the Druids (Toland's) 
Melodies from the Gaelic .... 
Maclean's History of the Celtic Language. 
Leabhar Sailm ..... 
Grigin and descent of the Gael 
Stewart's Gaelic Grammar 
Macpherson's Caledonian Antiquities 

(1798) 

Biboul Noimbh (London, 1855) 

Searmona Mhic-Dhiarmaid 

Dain Oisein ...... 

Fingal (1798). . . . 

Life of Columba (1798) . . . . 

Grain Roib Dhuinn Mhic-Aoidh 
Dain leis an Urr. I. Lees 
Searmons leis an Urr. E. Blarach 
Eaglais na h-Alba, leis an Urr A. Clare, 

Inbhirnis ..... 

Bourke's Aryan Grigin of the Gaelic Race 

Reid's Bibliotheca Scoto-Celtica 

Munro's Gaelic Primer (3 copies in library) 

Eachdraidh na h-Alba, le A. MacCoinnich 

(3 copies) 

Dain Ghailig leis an Urr. I. Lees 
Philologic Uses of the Celtic Tongue, by 

Professor Geddes (1872) . 
Philologic Uses of the Celtic Tongue (1873) 
Poems by Ossian, in metre (1796) . 

Proceedings of the Historical and Archaeo- 
logical Association of Ireland 
(1870-86) 

Shaw's Gaelic Dictionary (1780) 

History of the Culdees, Maccallum's. 

Macdiarmid's Gaelic Sermons (MS. 1773). 

Gaelic Grammar, Irish character (1808) . 



DONOR. 

Mr J. Craigie, Dundee 
ditto 
ditto 
ditto 
ditto 
ditto 
ditto 
ditto 
ditto 
ditto 
ditto 

ditto 
ditto 
ditto 
ditto 
ditto 
ditto 
ditto 
ditto 
ditto 

ditto 

Mr J. Mackay, Here- 
ford 
ditto 

Purchased 

The Author. 

Rev. Dr Lees, Paisley 

The Author 

ditto 

Mr Alex. Kennedy, 
Bohuntin 



The Society 

Rev. A. Macgregor. 

ditto 

ditto 
Rev. A. Macgregor 



Library. 325 

NAMES OP BOOKS. DONOR. 

Gaelic Pentateuch, Irish character . . Rev. A. Macgregor 

Gaelic Book of Common Prayer (1819) . ditto 

Gaelic Psalter, Irish character . . . ditto 

Transactions of the Gaelic Society of 
Inverness, 13 vols 

Bibliotheca Scoto -Celtica 

Grain le Rob Donn .... 

Leabhar Oran Gaidhealach 

Vible Casherick, Manx .... 

Biobla Naomtha, Irish .... 

Dr Smith's Seann Dana .... 

Evan's Welsh Grammar and Vocabulary . 

Grain Uilleim Ros ..... 

Grain Dhonnacha Bhain .... 

Co-chruinneachadh Grain Ghailig 

Book of Psalms, Irish . . . 

Grain Nuadh Ghaidheaiach, le A. Mac- 
dhomhnuill ..... 

Laoidhean o'n Sgriobtuir, D. Dewar . 

Leabhar Gran Gailig .... 

Am Biobla Naomtha (1690) . 

The Family of lona. .... 

Grant's Origin and Descent of the Gael . 

Rathad Dhe gu Sith . . 

Dain Spioradail, Urr. I. Griogalach . 

Dara Leabhar airson nan Sgoilean Gaidh- 
ealach ...... 

Treas Leabhar do. do. .... 

What Patriotism, Justice, and Christianity 
demand for India .... 

Grain Ghaidheaiach .... 

Priolo's Illustratons from Gssian . . Purchased 

Photograph of Gaelic Charter, 1408. . Rev. W. Ross, Glas- 
gow 

The Celtic Magazine, vol. i. The Publishers 

Do., vols. ii. to xi. .... Purchased 

Elementary Lessons in (Gaelic . . . The Author 

Stewart's Gaelic Grammar . . . Mr D. Mackintosh 

Irish Pedigrees, by O'Hart . . . The Author 

Dan an Deirg agus Tiomna Ghuill (Eng- 
lish Translation), 2 copies . . Mr C. S. Jerram. 

Gaelic and English Vocabulary (1741) . Rev. A, Macgregor 



326 



Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 



NAMES OP BOOKS. 

Aryan Origin of the Celtic 

Language 
Old Map of Scotland (1746) 



DONOR. 

Race and ) Mr John Mackay, 
. / Hereford 

. Mr Colin M'Callum, 

London 
Mr Charles Fergusson 



Collection of Harp Music 

Valuation Roll of the County of Inverness 

(1869-70) 

Do. do. Ross (1871-72) . 

Inverness Directory (1869-70) 
Greek Testament . . . 

Greek Lexicon 

Gospel of St John adapted to the Hamil- 

tonian System (Latin) 
Historic de Gil Bias de Santillane (French) 
Prophecies of the Brahan Seer, 2nd edition 
My Schools and Schoolmasters 
Gaelic Etymology of the English Language 

Dr Charles Mackay ... 
The Highland Echo 
The Highland Newspaper, complete, 4 

volumes Purchased 

Hebrew Celtic Affinity, Dr Stratton . The Author 
Illustrations of Waverley, published for ) T.^. ^ ^ ,. 

the Royal Association for Promoting I Miss Eraser, Farralme 

the Fine Arts in Scotland (1865) . ) 
Illustrations of Heart of Midlothian, do. 

do (1873) ditto 

Illustrations of the Bride of Lammermuir, 

do. do. (1875) ditto 

Illustrations of Red Gauntlet, do. do. (1876) ditto 

Illustrations of the Fair Maid of Perth . ditto 

Illustrations of the Legend of Montrose . ditto 

Gunn on the Harp in the Highlands . Miss Cameron of Inn- 

seagan 
English Translation of Buchanan's "Latha ) 

'Bhreitheanais," by the Rev. J. > Translator 

Sinclair, Kinloch-Rannoch (1880) . ) 
An t-Oranaiche, compiled by Archibald 

Sinclair (1880) .... Compiler 
Danaibh Spioradail, &c., le Seumas Mac- 1 A. Maclean, coal mer- 

Bheathain, Inverness (1880) . . J chant, Inverness. 
Macdiarmid's Sermons in Gaelic (1804) . Colin MacCallum, 

London 



ditto 
ditto 
ditto 
ditto 
ditto 

ditto 

ditto 

Mr A. Mackenzie 
Mr James Reid 

J. Mackay, Swansea 
Purchased 



Library. 



327 



NAMES OP BOOKS. 

Bute Docks, Cardiff, by John M'Comiachie, 
C.E. (1876) .... 

Observacions on the Present State of the ) 
Highlands, by the Earl of Selkirk V 
(1806) ) 

Collection of Gaelic Songs, by Ranald ( 
Macdonald (1806) . . . . j 

Mary Mackellar's Poems and Songs (1880) 
Dr O'Gallagher's Sermons in Irish (1877) . 

John Hill Burton's History of Scotland) 
(9 vols.) . . . ' . . . j 

Burt's Letters from the North of Scotland 
(2 vols.) 

A Genealogical Account of the Highland \ 
Families of Shaw, by A. Mackintosh V 
Shaw (1877) . . ) 

History of the Clan Chattan, by A. 
Mackintosh Shaw (1880) . 

Leabhair an t-Sean Tiomna air na* 
dtarruing on Teanguidh Ughdar- 
rach go Gaidhlig tre churam agus 
saothar an doctur Uiliam Bhedel, 
Roimhe so Easpog Chillemhorie 'n 
Erin (1830) . . . . . 

Edmund Burke's Works, 8 vols. 

Land Statistics of Inverness, Ross, and 
Cromarty in the Year 1871, by H. C. 
Fraser ...... 

Church of Scotland Assembly Papers 
The Poolewe Case .... 

Ossian's Fingal rendered into Heroic) 
Verse, by Ewen Cameron (1777) . j 

Ossian's Fingal rendered into verse by 
Archibald Macdonald (1808) . 

Clarsach an Doire Gaelic Poems, by 
Neil Macleod ..... 

MacDiarmid's Gaelic Sermons . 

Leabhar Commun nan Fior Ghael The 
Book of the Club of True Highlanders 



DONOR. 

The Author. 

John Mackay, C.E., 
Hereford 

F. C. Buchanan, Clarin- 
nish, Row, Helens- 
burgh 

The Author. 
John Mackay, C.E., 

Hereford 

L. Macdonald of 
Skaebost 

ditto 
The Author 



The Author 



A. R. MacRaild, In- 
verness 



Mr Colin Chishohn. 
The Author 



Mr W. Mackenzie 
A. H. F. Cameron, 
Esq. of Lakefield 

ditto 

The Author 
Mr Colin MacCallum, 
London 

Purchased 



328 



Gaelic Society of Inverness. 



NAMES OF BOOKS. 

Grammar of the Gaelic Language (Irish), 
by E. O'C. . ... 

Esquisse de la Religion des Gaulois. Par 
M. Henri Gaidoz. 1879 . 

Notice sur les Inscriptions Latines de 
I'lrlande. Par M. Henri Gaidoz. 
1878 

Melusine Recueil de Mythologie, &c. Par 
MM. Gaidoz et Holland. 1878 

Guide to Sutherlandshire, by Hew Morrison 

Transactions of the Royal National Eist- 
eddfod of Wales .... 

Bute Docks, Cardiff, by J. Macconnachie, 
M.I.C.E. . , . 

In Memoriam Earl of Seafield 



DONOR. 

Mr H. C. Eraser 
M. Gaidoz 

M. Gaidoz 

M. Gaidoz 

The Author 
I Mr J. Mackay, C.E., 
J Hereford 



The Author 
The Dowager-Count- 
ess of Seafield 

Position of the Skye ) L. Macdonald of Skae- 
. J bost 



Past and Present 

Crofters . 
American Journal of Philology 
Revue Celtique, vol. VI., No. 3 
Notes on St Clement's Church, Rowdill, 

Harris ... 

Notes on Clan Chattan Names 
The Proverbs of Wales . . . --.. 

J. D. Dixon's Gairloch . . . 

Struan's Poems ..... 
The Writings of Eola 

The Proverbs of Wales, by T. R. Roberts . 

An Old Scots Brigade, by John Mackay, 

Herrisdale ..... 
Cromb's Highland Brigade 
Glossary of Obscure Words in Shakespeare 

and his Contemporaries, by Dr Chas. 

Mackay ...... 

Pococke's Tour in Scotland, issued by the 

Historical Society of Scotland . 
Walcott's Scottish Church 



M. Gaidoz 

Mr A. Ross, Inverness 
J. Macpherson, M.D. 
Mr J. Mackay, C.E., 

Hereford 
Mr A. Burgess, banker, 

Gairloch 
Mr A. Kennedy 
Mr John Mackay of 

Ben Reay 

Mr J. Mackay, C.E., 
Hereford 

ditto 
ditto 



ditto 
Mr D. William Kemp, 

Edinburgh 

Mr A. Burgess, Gair- 
loch 



Library. 329 

NAMES OF BOOKS. DONOR. 

Dick Lauder's Highland Legends . . Mr A. Burgess, Gair- 

loch 
Book of Scottish Story .... ditto 

Stuart Papers . . . . . . ditto 

The Constitution and Bye-Laws of the) Mr John Mackay of 

Scots Charitable Society of Boston . j Ben Reay 

Notes on Early Iron Smelting in Suther- ) Mr D. William Kemp, 

land ..... j Edinburgh 

Artificial Lighting . . . . ditto 

The Mountain Heath, by David Macdonald Mr A. H. F. Cameron 

of Lakefield 
Oratio Dominica ..... Mr John Mackay,C.E., 

Hereford 
Old Testament in the Irish Language, Mr Paul Cameron, 

by Dr William Bedel, 1685 . . Blair-Athole 



PB 
1501 
G3 
v.15 



Gaelic Society of Inverness 
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